CAA publish Air Navigation Order 2018 and 2019 Amendments in CAP 1763

CAP 1763 - Air Navigation Order 2018 and 2019 Amendments - Guidance for SUA users

Background

On 20 February 2019, the UK Government published an amendment to the UK Air Navigation Order 2016 (ANO) titled ‘The Air Navigation (Amendment) Order 2019’ that is detailed by the CAA in CAP 1763. This new ANO publication comes into force on 13th March 2019 and will affect the operation of small unmanned aircraft in the UK.

The below offers a summary of changes within the structure of the new Amendment.

a. Effective from 13 March 2019 (ANO 2019 amendment):

  • A revised limitation on the closest distance that small unmanned aircraft of any mass may be flown from specific types of aerodrome.
  • Changes to the dimensions of the ‘flight restriction zones’ associated with the new distance limitation from these ‘protected aerodromes’ and the introduction of new definitions in Schedule 1 in order to accommodate these changes.

b. Effective from 30 November 2019 (ANO 2018 amendment):

  • A requirement for the registration of SUA operators
  • A requirement for the competency of remote pilots to be tested

New Changes introduced by the 2019 amendment:

Article 94 – Small unmanned aircraft: requirements

Paragraphs (4) and (4A) are now deleted completely so there is no longer a ‘7kg’ differentiation between small unmanned aircraft with regard to the types of airspace that can be flown in.

As a reminder, Article 94(4) and (4A) stated:

(4) If a small unmanned aircraft has a mass of more than 7kg excluding its fuel but including any articles or equipment installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of its flight, the SUA operator must not cause or permit the aircraft to be flown, and the remote pilot in charge of the aircraft must not fly it-

(a) in Class A, C, D or E airspace unless the permission of the appropriate air traffic control unit has been obtained.

The full new text for Article 94 can be viewed here:

94. (1) A person must not cause or permit any article or animal (whether or not attached to a parachute) to be dropped from a small unmanned aircraft so as to endanger persons or property.

(2) The remote pilot of a small unmanned aircraft may only fly the aircraft if reasonably satisfied that the flight can safely be made.

(3) The remote pilot of a small unmanned aircraft must maintain direct, unaided visual contact with the aircraft sufficient to monitor its flight path in relation to other aircraft, persons, vehicles, vessels and structures for the purpose of avoiding collisions.

(4) Intentionally blank (articles removed)

(5) The SUA operator must not cause or permit a small unmanned aircraft to be flown for the purposes of commercial operations, and the remote pilot of a small unmanned aircraft must not fly it for the purposes of commercial operations, except in accordance with a permission granted by the CAA.

Article 94A – Small unmanned aircraft: permissions for certain flights

The new changes are summarised as follows:

  1. Article 94A has been rewritten to combine the ‘400 ft height restriction’ and the restrictions on flights that are ‘over or near aerodromes’.
  2. The legal maximum height restriction remains at 400 feet above the surface. If you wish to operate outside of this restriction, you will need to seek permission from the CAA for any flight outside of a ‘flight restriction zone’ or permission from the specific ATC / FIS for any flight within a ‘flight restriction zone’. For more information about the definition of a flight restriction zone, please see the new changes to Article 94B later in this post.
  3. There are new restrictions over or near aerodromes. Article 94A outlines the definitions of and restrictions/permission surrounding:
    • the types of aerodrome where these restrictions apply (protected aerodromes).
    • the form that the ‘flight restriction zones’ around these protected aerodromes will take.
    • the level of restriction that is introduced.
    • the relevant ‘aerodrome authority’ that can issue a permission to enter the flight restriction zone.
  4. You must not fly a small unmanned aircraft within the flight restriction zone of a protected aerodrome without first ensuring that you have permission to do so and thus having obtained the relevant permissions before entering any flight restriction zone. A map detailing the flight restriction zones at each protected aerodrome in the UK can be found at www.dronesafe.uk.
The full new text for Article 94A can be viewed here:

94A. (1) If the permission or permissions that are required under this article for a flight, or a part of a flight, by a small unmanned aircraft have not been obtained— (a) the SUA operator must not cause or permit the small unmanned aircraft to be flown on that flight or that part of the flight; and (b) the remote pilot must not fly the small unmanned aircraft on that flight or that part of the flight.

(2) Permission from the CAA is required for a flight, or a part of a flight, by a small unmanned aircraft at a height of more than 400 feet above the surface.

(3) But permission from the CAA is not required under paragraph (2) if—(a) the flight, or the part of the flight, takes place in a flight restriction zone at a protected aerodrome, and (b) permission for the flight, or the part of the flight, is required under paragraph (4) from an air traffic control unit or a flight information service unit.

(4) Permission for a flight, or a part of a flight, by a small unmanned aircraft in the flight restriction zone of a protected aerodrome is required— (a) from any air traffic control unit at the protected aerodrome, if the flight, or the part of the flight, takes place during the operational hours of the air traffic control unit; (b) from any flight information service unit at the protected aerodrome, if the flight, or the part of the flight, takes place during the operational hours of the flight information service unit and either— (i) there is no air traffic control unit at the protected aerodrome, or (ii) the flight, or the part of the flight, takes place outside the operational hours of the air traffic control unit at the protected aerodrome; (c) from the operator of the protected aerodrome, if— (i) there is neither an air traffic control unit nor a flight information service unit at the protected aerodrome; or (ii) the flight, or the part of the flight, takes place outside the operational hours of any such unit or units at the protected aerodrome.

(5) In this article, “operational hours”, in relation to an air traffic control unit or flight information service unit, means the operational hours— (a) notified in relation to the unit, or (b) set out in the UK military AIP in relation to the unit.

(6) In this article and article 94B, “protected aerodrome” means— (a) an EASA certified aerodrome, (b) a Government aerodrome, (c) a national licensed aerodrome, or (d) an aerodrome that is prescribed, or of a description prescribed, for the purposes of this paragraph.

(7) The “flight restriction zone” of a protected aerodrome is to be determined for the purposes of this article in accordance with the following table—

Article 94B – Interpretation of expressions used in the definition of “flight restriction zone”

This article has been completely rewritten from the one that appeared in the 2018 amendment. Its purpose is now to provide descriptions of the terms that have been used in article 94A, as well as highlighting any ‘special cases’ that have been made, which includes:

  1. The dimensions of the runway protection zone.
  2. That the London Heliport (Battersea) does not have any runway protection zones and therefore, the London Heliport flight restriction zone consists of a 2nm radius ATZ only.
  3. What an ‘additional boundary zone’ is and how it is determined.
The full new text for Article 94B can be viewed here:

94B. (1) This article makes provision about the meaning of expressions used in the definition of “flight restriction zone” in article 94A that applies in relation to a protected aerodrome which is— (a) an EASA certified aerodrome, (b) a Government aerodrome, or (c) a national licensed aerodrome, and which has an aerodrome traffic zone.

(2) Subject to paragraph (4), there is one runway protection zone for each runway threshold of each runway at the aerodrome.

(3) A “runway protection zone”, in relation to a runway threshold at the aerodrome, is the airspace extending from the surface to a height of 2,000 feet above the level of the aerodrome within the area bounded by a rectangle— (a) whose longer sides measure 5 km; (b) whose shorter sides measure— (i) 1 km (except in the case of Heathrow Airport); (ii) 1.5 km, in the case of Heathrow Airport; and (c) which is positioned so that— (i) one of the shorter sides of the rectangle (“side A”) runs across the runway threshold, and (ii) the two longer sides of the rectangle are parallel to, and equidistant from, the extended runway centre line as it extends from side A out to, and beyond, the runway end to which the runway threshold relates.

(4) There is no runway protection zone— (a) for any runway threshold at the London Heliport; (b) for any runway threshold that is prescribed, or of a description prescribed, for the purposes of this paragraph.

(5) The “runway threshold” of a runway at the aerodrome is the location that, for the purpose of demarcating the start of the portion of the runway that is useable for landing, is— (a) notified as the threshold of the runway, or (b) set out as the threshold of the runway in the UK military AIP.

(6) The “extended runway centre line”, in relation to a runway at the aerodrome, is an imaginary straight line which runs for the length of the runway along its centre and then extends beyond both ends of the runway.

(7) An “additional boundary zone” is the airspace extending from the surface to a height of 2,000 feet above the level of the aerodrome within any part of the area between— (a) the boundary of the aerodrome, and (b) a line that is 1 km from the boundary of the aerodrome (the “1 km line”), that is neither within the aerodrome traffic zone nor within any runway protection zone at the aerodrome.

(8) The 1 km line is to be drawn so that the area which is bounded by it includes every location that is 1 km from the boundary of the aerodrome, measured in any direction from any point on the boundary.

Residual Changes that are still applicable from the 2018 amendment:

Article 7 – Meaning of ‘commercial operation’

This article has been adjusted very slightly in order to make it more applicable to small unmanned aircraft than was previously the case. It also relates more specifically to an ‘SUA operator’, now that this is a distinct term (as opposed to the more generic term ‘operator’).

The full new text for Article 7 can be viewed here:

For the purposes of this Order, “commercial operation” means any flight by a small unmanned aircraft except a flight for public transport, or any operation of any other aircraft except an operation for public transport—
(a) which is available to the public; or
(b) which, when not made available to the public—
(i) in the case of a flight by a small unmanned aircraft, is performed under a contract between the SUA operator and a customer, where the latter has no control over the remote pilot; or
(ii) in any other case, is performed under a contract between an operator and a customer, where the latter has no control over the operator, in return for remuneration or other valuable consideration.

Article 20 – Application of the Order to the Crown

This is a simple amendment which now includes the term ‘SUA operator’ within the text.

The full new text for Article 20 can be viewed here:

20. (1) Subject to the provisions of this article and article 22, the provisions of this Order apply to or in relation to aircraft belonging to or exclusively employed in the service of Her Majesty as they apply to or in relation to other aircraft.

(2) For the purposes of such application, the Department or other authority for the time being responsible on behalf of Her Majesty for the management of the aircraft is deemed to be the operator of the aircraft or, in the case of a small unmanned aircraft, to be the SUA operator and, in the case of an aircraft belonging to Her Majesty, to be the owner of the interest of Her Majesty in the aircraft.

(3) Nothing in this article renders liable to any penalty any Department or other authority responsible on behalf of Her Majesty for the management of any aircraft.

Article 23 – Exceptions from the provisions of the Order

This is an important article, because it exempts small unmanned aircraft (as well as small balloons, small kites and parachutes) from the majority of the ANO’s provisions, and it then specifies those articles which still apply.

The full new text for Article 23 can be viewed here:

23. (1) This article applies to—
(a) any small balloon;
(b) any kite weighing not more than 2kg;
(c) any small unmanned aircraft; and
(d) any parachute including a parascending parachute.

(2) Subject to paragraph (3), nothing in this Order applies to or in relation to an aircraft to which this article applies.

(3) Articles 2, 91, 92, 93, 94, 94A, 94B, 94C, 94D, 94E 94F, 94G, 95, 239, 241 and 257 (except 257(2)(a)) apply to or in relation to an aircraft to which this article applies, and articles 253, 265, 266 and 269 apply in relation to those articles.

Article 94C – Certain small unmanned aircraft: registration of SUA operator

This article is simply an ‘establishing’ article which gives a legal instruction to the CAA to create a scheme for the registration of SUA operators by 1 October 2019 but it has no further relevance to people involved in flying small unmanned aircraft until the registration scheme has been created by the CAA.

The full new text for Article 94(C) can be viewed here:

94C. (1) Subject to the following provisions of this article, the CAA must issue a certificate of registration as an SUA operator to a person, or renew that person’s certificate of registration as an SUA operator, if the person— (a) has applied to the CAA, in such manner as the CAA may require, to be registered as an SUA operator, (b) has supplied such information and evidence as the CAA may require, and (c) has, in the case of an individual, attained the age (if any) that is prescribed.

(2) Subject to paragraph (3), a certificate of registration may relate— (a) to a particular description of small unmanned aircraft; (b) to a particular description of flights by small unmanned aircraft.

(3) No certificate of registration is to be issued in relation to— (a) small unmanned aircraft with a mass of less than 250 grams without their fuel but including any articles or equipment installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of their flight, or (b) flights by small unmanned aircraft of that description.

(4) A certificate of registration issued, or renewed, under this article is valid for the period shown on the certificate, subject to— (a) article 253, or (b) the SUA operator notifying the CAA, in such manner as the CAA may require, that the SUA operator surrenders the certificate.

(5) The CAA is not required to accept applications for certificates of registration under this article before 1st October 2019.

Article 94D – Certain small unmanned aircraft: requirement for registration as SUA operator

This article does not come into force until 30 November 2019. From this point, it sets out the requirements that will be in place for registration which are essentially:

  • The registration requirements only apply to SUA operators.
  • SUA operators are only required to be registered if they are operating small unmanned aircraft that have a mass of 250 grams or more.
  • An SUA operator must have a valid registration when his/her small unmanned aircraft if flown and the registration number must be displayed on the aircraft.
  • A remote pilot must not fly a small unmanned aircraft unless he/she is happy that the SUA operator has a valid registration and the registration number is displayed on the aircraft.
The full new text for Article 94(D) can be viewed here:

94D. (1) This article applies to a flight by a small unmanned aircraft only if it has a mass of 250 grams or more without its fuel but including any articles or equipment installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of its flight.

(2) The SUA operator must not cause or permit the small unmanned aircraft to be flown unless— (a) the CAA has issued the SUA operator with a certificate of registration which is valid for that flight at the time of the flight, and (b) the SUA operator’s registration number is displayed on the aircraft in the manner (if any) that is prescribed.

(3) The remote pilot of the small unmanned aircraft must not fly it unless the remote pilot has reasonably formed the view that the SUA operator complies with the requirements in paragraph (2) in relation to that flight.

(4) In this article— “certificate of registration” means a certificate issued under article 94C; “registration number” means the ten digit registration number assigned by the CAA in relation to an SUA operator’s registration under article 94C.

Article 94E – Certain small unmanned aircraft: competency of remote pilots

Like article 94C, this is simply an ‘establishing’ article which gives a legal instruction to the CAA to create a scheme for the competence testing of remote pilots by 1 October 2019. It has no further relevance to people involved in flying small unmanned aircraft until the competency testing scheme has been created by the CAA.

The full new text for Article 94(E) can be viewed here:

94E. (1) Subject to the following provisions of this article, the CAA must issue an acknowledgement of competency to an individual, or renew that individual’s acknowledgement of competency, if the individual— (a) has applied to the CAA, in such manner as the CAA may require, for an acknowledgement of competency, (b) has supplied such information and evidence as the CAA may require, (c) has undertaken such training as the CAA may require, and (d) has undergone such tests as the CAA may require.

(2) That training or those tests may relate to matters which include— (a) the practical operation of small unmanned aircraft; (b) matters connected with the operation of small unmanned aircraft (such as respect for privacy, data protection, safety, security and environmental protection).

(3) Subject to paragraph (4), an acknowledgement of competency may relate— (a) to a particular description of small unmanned aircraft; (b) to a particular description of flights by small unmanned aircraft.

(4) No acknowledgement of competency is to be issued in relation to— (a) small unmanned aircraft with a mass of less than 250 grams without their fuel but including any articles or equipment installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of their flight, or (b) flights by small unmanned aircraft of that description.

(5) An acknowledgement of competency issued, or renewed, under this article is valid for the period shown on the acknowledgement, subject to article 253.

(6) The CAA may issue an acknowledgement of competency subject to such conditions as it deems appropriate.

(7) The CAA is not required to accept applications for acknowledgements of competency under this article before 1st October 2019.

Article 94F – Certain small unmanned aircraft: requirement for acknowledgement of competency

Although it doesn’t come into force until 30 November 2019, Article 94F sets out the requirements that will be in place for remote pilot competency testing, which include the following:

  • Remote pilots are only required to undertake a competency test if they are flying a small unmanned aircraft that has a mass of 250 grams or more.
  • A remote pilot must not fly a small unmanned aircraft unless he/she can demonstrate that he/ she is competent.
  • An SUA operator must not allow his/her aircraft to be flown unless satisfied that the remote pilot has passed the appropriate competency test.
The full new text for Article 94(F) can be viewed here:

94F. (1) This article applies to a flight by a small unmanned aircraft only if it has a mass of 250 grams or more without its fuel but including any articles or equipment installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of its flight.

(2) The remote pilot of the small unmanned aircraft must not fly it unless the CAA has issued the remote pilot with an acknowledgement of competency which is valid for that flight at the time of the flight.

(3) The SUA operator must not cause or permit the small unmanned aircraft to be flown unless the SUA operator has reasonably formed the view that the remote pilot of the aircraft complies with the requirements in paragraph (2) in relation to that flight.

(4) In this article “acknowledgement of competency” means an acknowledgement issued under article 94E.

Article 94G – Meaning of “remote pilot” and “SUA operator”

This article provides the definitions of remote pilot and SUA operator, which replace the previous ‘person in charge’ term.

The full new text for Article 94(G) can be viewed here:

94G. In this Order—

(a) the “remote pilot”, in relation to a small unmanned aircraft, is an individual who— (i) operates the flight controls of the small unmanned aircraft by manual use of remote controls, or (ii) when the small unmanned aircraft is flying automatically, monitors its course and is able to intervene and change its course by operating its flight controls;

(b) the “SUA operator”, in relation to a small unmanned aircraft, is the person who has the management of the small unmanned aircraft.”.

Article 95 – Small unmanned surveillance aircraft

The only changes to this article are that the term ‘person in charge’ has been replaced with either ‘remote pilot’ or ‘SUA operator’ as applicable.

The full new text for Article 95 can be viewed here:

95. (1) The SUA operator must not cause or permit a small unmanned surveillance aircraft to be flown in any of the circumstances described in paragraph (2), and the remote pilot of a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not fly it in any of those circumstances, except in accordance with a permission issued by the CAA.

(2) The circumstances referred to in paragraph (1) are— (a) over or within 150 metres of any congested area; (b) over or within 150 metres of an organised open-air assembly of more than 1,000 persons; (c) within 50 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the control of the SUA operator or the remote pilot of the aircraft; or (d) subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), within 50 metres of any person.

(3) Subject to paragraph (4), during take-off or landing, a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not be flown within 30 metres of any person.

(4) Paragraphs (2)(d) and (3) do not apply to the remote pilot of the small unmanned surveillance aircraft or a person under the control of the remote pilot of the aircraft.

(5) In this article, “a small unmanned surveillance aircraft” means a small unmanned aircraft which is equipped to undertake any form of surveillance or data acquisition.

Summary

As expected, the recent and upcoming changes to UK legislation surrounding the operation of SUA are gradually coming into force. It’s important for us, as an NQE drone training provider, to ensure our customers are notified and kept up to date with these changes so their SUA operations remain lawful at all times.

We will soon be updating all of our online course materials including OSC templates and eLearning to reflect the changes to the new Air Navigation Order (Amendment) 2019.

Please note that although it is stated by the CAA that the new ANO publication is available on the Government’s legislation website (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/), it is not yet available. We will update this article with the full new ANO (Amendment) 2019 as soon as it has been published.

If you have any questions about how this may affect you, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0330 111 8800 or email the team via info@upliftdrones.com.


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