CAA: An update to our UAS operator community re COVID-19

An update to our UAS operator community on COVID-19

Following the recent and unprecedented COVID-19 developments, we thought it would be useful to provide an update to you all in respect of how we in the UAS Unit and the CAA more generally are working under these unprecedented circumstances. Given the measures recently announced by the Government, everyone in the UAS Unit is now working remotely until further notice. During this period, we will working in the following way:

In this issue:

Oversight and audits

We will continue to carry out oversight and audits but this will be carried out remotely using remote video programmes such as Skype or Facetime. If you are selected for an audit you will receive the necessary instructions as to how it will work. If for any reason we cannot obtain evidence this way we may ask that we delay your audit.

Assessments of initial, renewal and variation applications

Our Shared Services Centre’s UAS team will continue to process your applications in the usual way and you should not notice a difference in service.  Similarly the UAS Unit will continue to process OSC applications in the usual way. If for any reason our capacity and therefore time to process is impacted, we will let you all know.

Contact with third parties to inform and obtain control

The current advice from the World Health organisation and Public Health England regarding social distancing should allow you to continue to knock on doors to speak to householders if you need to get them under your control. It would be a matter for you if you think your journey is necessary or not.

Insurance and renewal of approvals

We appreciate that there may be some financial burdens placed on people throughout this unprecedented event. Unfortunately we are not in the position to allow operators to operate without a policy of insurance in place for each flight, and we are unable to renew a Permission without the appropriate fee as this covers the assessment of the operations manual which is required. We will continue to review this and welcome your feedback throughout this time.

NQE training

We have had a number of enquiries regarding attending NQE courses for ground school training and exams. We have contacted all the NQEs with an update on our advice and I would recommend speaking with your NQE if you have any queries.

We hope this communication provides some clarity on our mode of working throughout this period.

We understand the impact this is having on all of you and your ability to work. We are working closely with our colleagues in government on this and reviewing any requests we get from you on a case by case basis as to how we might take measures to make this period easier.

We are looking at this across the industry and as part of this the CAA has decided to delay the implementation of its overall proposed charge increases for three months to assist the UK aviation industry in these difficult times and will then keep this under review. You can see more information at Schemes of Charges

Thank for your ongoing understanding and we wish you all well during this uncertain time.


The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Department