One of the main areas that was designated for change following the CAA’s consultation on drone use was the introduction of mandatory competency training and also registration as an operator and or pilot. UAVs (between 250g and 20kg) will now be required to carry the operator ID.
The new website that allows you to take the competency training and obtain your flyer ID and also register your aircraft to get your Operator ID is now live. At the moment, it’s pretty basic and in a Beta form so it simply walks you through the steps to accomplish your goals in a text based form.
Anyone who is planning to fly a drone and is over the age of 13, is required to take the competency training. This consists of 20 multiple choice questions (you have to get 16 right to pass) and you can take it as many times as you need to – there is no charge for the training and at the end of it, you will receive your Flyer ID. Holders of the PfCo qualification which is issued to the current pilots who fly drones commercially are exempt from taking the test until the middle of 2020 at least, at which time the legislation will be reviewed and new guidance issued.
If you’re responsible for an aircraft (even if you don’t fly it yourself), you also need to register for an Operator ID. This applies if you own a drone / model aircraft, you’re an adult who is responsible for a child who owns an aircraft or generally if you are responsible for a drone / model aircraft that someone else will be flying. The operator ID can be applied to multiple aircraft in your fleet and the registration charge is £9 payable annually (recently reduced from the controversial earlier mooted figure of £16).