Fly Smart, Fly Safe

Report from the CEO

Welcome to “Report from the CEO” a weekly up-date for ARPAS-UK members from the CEO, Graham Brown. Each week Graham will be keeping members informed on what has crossed the CEO’s virtual desk, along with other committee matters.

6th April 2018

Dear Members,

This edition is a brief update and a request for help.

The brief update is that we have had our first Committee meeting and the introductions for the new members are complete. The committee is working through the business plan and we are agreeing priorities for the year ahead. The first activity is to organise some regional meetings and information will be communicated as soon as dates have been set. It is intended to finalise and sign off the Business Plan by the end of April. We are also working on implementing the new structure for the website that is intended to provide a more flexible and stable platform for our activities going forward.

Now to the request for help.

We have two vacancies for positions as a director of ARPAS-UK.

The positions are:-

  1. Membership Director following the resignation last week of Bryan Stanislas, and
  2. Marketing Director covering events, marketing and potentially some PR.

These are vital roles and whilst the current team will cover actions where they can these roles need to be filled as soon as possible. If you are interested or think that a colleague may be please let me know directly by email and I can call you back to discuss the opportunity in more detail.

Articles that caught my attention this week are:

If you’re flying this week, take care and Fly Smart, Fly Safe

Graham Brown

19th March 2018

I would like to welcome all readers to what is my first blog.

My Appointment

You may have seen the announcement of my appointment in your Mailbox, but just in case you missed it my name is Graham Brown and I was appointed as the part-time CEO of ARPAS-UK on the 1st of March 2018. As CEO, I am responsible for managing and coordinating the activities of ARPAS-UK. A large part of this will be supporting the directors and other volunteers and creating an environment in which they can achieve the objectives we have all agreed. My initial focus will be working with the committee on our sustainability, our direction and further developing the relationships that we have built with members and key participants in the RPAS ecosystem.

I arrived at the same time as the snow and managed to attend the AGM held in Rugby on the 2nd March, along with our sponsors and members who were able to get there. The AGM saw some directors stepping down and your thanks were passed on to them. It also saw new directors appointed and together with the existing directors the team is in place to continue our progress.

My Background

For those of you interested in my background there is a summary on the website together with all the directors (Read more..). One point I’d like to highlight is that I am not involved with any other drone business and therefore I come to the role with no preconceived ideas and an open mind.  ARPAS objectives and members interests are my focus and I look forward to working with members and directors to further our goals.

Progress of ARPAS-UK so far:

Business Plan, Regulation and Standards

At this point I’d like to pause and reflect on what I have seen to date of the progress the association has made over the past year or so. I have met a very dedicated group of directors who volunteer their time to deliver agreed objectives on behalf of ARPAS and the members. These objectives and milestones are published in the business plan (available at Technical Forum post). We are currently working on the update that will be finalised in April and if you have any comments it’s not too late to make them – just drop me an email.

Looking at our relationships with the various regulatory and standards bodies I have seen the significant progress made over the past months. It is sometimes difficult to explain the progress either because it can’t be made public or because the steps are small and progress has the appearance of being frustratingly slow despite the activity and effort expended. Sometimes that’s the nature of the beast but from what I have reviewed so far the team deserves our thanks.

Financial Stability and Benefit to Members

On the financial side of the organisation good progress has also been made to ensure we are stable and have built up reserves to ensure this stability continues. I will personally have a key focus on building our revenues and looking for sustainability in the areas in which we are active.

The committee members are also working on building our relationships with all entities in the drone ecosystem. I will personally be working with the team to make sure that I understand the nature of our diverse membership and how members can gain maximum benefit from their membership through the benefits we provide. We will take actions that will strengthen our relationships with members and other participants in our space. If any of you have comments, questions or would like to meet then please let me know.

March Newsletter

I will not repeat links to recent news as there was a comprehensive update in the latest newsletter issued last week. The summary is:-

Thanks for reading.

If you’re flying this week, take care and Fly Smart, Fly Safe

Graham Brown

5th March 2018

Farewell and Welcome
Good morning all, this will be my last blog from my term in office as I have now handed over to the very capable hands of my successor, Gavin Wishart.  I wish him all the very best in post.

Your New Committee
Please welcome your new Committee, who braved the most adverse weather conditions on Friday to help drive ARPAS-UK and the industry forward. Read more:

ARPAS-UK Draft Business Plan
The ARPAS-UK first draft of its 3-year rolling Business Plan was published on 1st March 2018, with priorities drawn from the 2017 Membership Survey. The Business Plan will be ratified by the new Committee in the next few weeks, following a period of consultation. If you would like to input or comment, please make comments on this Technical Forum post

A Look Back at Changes in the Industry in 2017/18
During the last 12 months, we’ve seen major changes in the industry, with drones positioned centre stage in UK Government. Read more:

A Final Thank You
The Association has remained true to its origins with brand association and value increasing significantly, and our global reputation is outstanding.   I believe we remain truly beneficial to our membership in the lobbying that we undertake (which is sometimes difficult to convey).
The ARPAS Committee has been outstanding in achieving what they have with the time they have, whilst not being financially rewarded.
I would like to convey my heartfelt thanks to the 2017/18 Committee and the admin team for everything they have done for our membership in the last year.

As ever, if you’re flying this week, take care and Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Past Chairman, ARPAS-UK

26th February 2018

We’re due for some very freak weather this week, although the conditions on Thursday and Friday, for the ARPAS AGM, are as yet uncertain. We are reviewing the situation continually, so please keep your eye on your inbox this week for any announcements.
I had been intending to look back on the 2017/18 term in the blog this week, but I will be preparing at least one more blog for you, so today’s is a normal news / activities report.

Police Thermal Imaging Drone Finds Man in Freezing Temperatures
There was some interesting news from Lincolnshire police yesterday, quite appropriate given this week’s forecast. A man who crashed his car in freezing night-time temperatures was saved from hypothermia when he was found by a police thermal-imaging drone in Lincolnshire on Sunday 25th February. Read more:

Forthcoming Events: Counter-Terror Awards, 6th March 2018, Olympia
ARPAS-UK is already planning and setting in motion events for the 2018/19 term. The next event in the diary are the Counter Terror Awards and ARPAS-UK is delighted to be sponsoring the UAV Product Award as part of the Counter Terror Awards at Olympia next week. The award will be presented by the Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon MP. Read more:

Getting Ready for the ARPAS-UK 2018/19 Term
As part of our plans for the new 2018/19 term, ARPAS-UK is in the process of preparing its revised 3-year rolling Business Plan, based on ongoing priorities and the outcome of the recent Members’ Survey. The Business Plan will be the responsibility of the new committee, and a first draft will be available on the Technical Forum for comment by members later this week.

Given the weather forecast, I suspect it’s unlikely there’ll be much flying this week, but where there is, I’m sure the imagery will be spectacular! Of course, if you do fly this week, take care and Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK

19th February 2018

This is my penultimate blog as Chairman of ARPAS-UK, and I’ve been very honoured to have led the organisation through the last very eventful year. This week I’m bringing you a normal weekly blog and update, but next week, in my last blog as Chairman, I’ll do my best to bring you my own personal view of ARPAS highlights over the last year.

Changes in the Team:
Chief Executive Officer
I’m pleased to be able to tell you that ARPAS-UK made an offer last week for the CEO role. Final details of the contract are currently being put in place, and as soon as that is complete, I’ll be able to introduce the new CEO to you. The CEO will be attending the AGM to meet members.

Emily Wootton, New Admin Team Member
You’ll be seeing and hearing more from our new admin team member, Emily Wootton, over the next few weeks and months. Emily Wootton joined the ARPAS-UK admin team in January and is working closely with Elena Major and the ARPAS-UK admin team.
Originally hailing from south of Cambridge, Emily restarted her admin career in Marketing and Customer Services in a Midlands company. Moving to Lossiemouth three years ago, she became Membership Admin for the local Royal British Legion Scotland Branch and was very honoured to be part of team organising the local Remembrance Day Parade and Poppy Appeal.

AGM 2018
The deadline for applications to stand as a Director of ARPAS-UK closed on Friday 16th February. We’ll be sending you details of those standing later this week, on 23rd February, keep your eye on your inbox, and make sure you use your vote. Read more:

New EASA Regulations – a Top-Level Summary from Rupert Dent
Rupert Dent, the ARPAS-UK Legislation Director, has provided a top-level summary of EASA Opinion No 01-2018 below, and will be providing further information shortly. Read more:

If you’re flying this week, take care and Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK

12th February 2018

Update on Applications for Directorships / Registrations to Attend the AGM as at 9th Feb
The ARPAS-UK Committee wants to ensure members are kept informed of the number of director applications being received, prior to the deadline of Friday 16th February. 5 applications have been received as at 9th February with 2 pending. Read more: 

This last week, I’ve seen a number of events and grant opportunities advertised which may be of interest to members, and I’m listing them here:

New Funding Competition Round on Enabling and Emerging Technologies – share of £19 million available
UK businesses and apply for projects in areas enabling capabilities, including electronics, sensors and photonics (ESP), robotics and autonomous systems (RAS), for projects between £35K and £2million. The closing date is 28th March 2018. Read more: 

Artificial Intelligence for Infrastructure Systems: London Event, 28th March 2018
The aim of this event on 28th March is to bring together stakeholders from the construction sector, city challenge owners (local authorities), infrastructure providers, Digital Built Britain practitioners, thought leaders and innovators from the AI community in order to unpack the opportunity portfolio. Read more:

Five UK Cities Selected to Develop Future of Drone Operations
Five pioneering cities have been chosen to participate in the Nesta Flying High Challenge to design how drone technology could operate in complex city environments to address local needs. Bradford, London, Preston, Southampton and the West Midlands will now work with the Flying High team. Read more:

If you’re flying this week, take care and Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK

5th February 2018

16th February: Deadline for AGM Registration
Time will soon be running out for registration to attend the AGM on 2nd March, and the deadline is also fast approaching to apply for election as a Director. Please email as soon as possible if you would like to attend the AGM, and no later than Friday 16th February.

16th February: Deadline for Applications to Stand as a Director – Application Forms
A good number of members have expressed interest in standing for election as a Director – but not many applications have been received so far.

Submit the 2 forms to as soon as possible. You can download Word versions of the forms here:  Please email any queries to

Progress on Appointment of ARPAS-UK CEO
At the 2017 AGM, many members expressed a wish for ARPAS-UK to recruit an independent remunerated head of staff or Chief Executive Officer, CEO. It’s been a long process, but I’m pleased to report that I hope to appoint a CEO in the next few days, and there’ll be further information in the February Newsletter.

What’s Happening at the AGM?
Just to remind you that some of the key activities on 2nd March include:

  • Election of new Directors;
  • Meeting the new CEO;
  • Talks from Pix4D, DJI & other Industry benefit providers.

Your team is working hard to finalise the AGM agenda which we’ll be sending you soon as possible, as part of the second and final pack of AGM papers.

Drones and the Future of Transportation
Several pieces of news passed across my desk last week, all looking ahead to the use of drones for urban transportation – is this really the shape of things to come? Read more:

If you’re flying this week, keep warm and Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK

29th January 2018

How to Apply to be a Director of ARPAS-UK
With the clock ticking, here’s a reminder of the Directors’ roles up for election at the AGM:
•Business Development
A new role, Events & Marketing, has also been made available

All applications to stand for election must be received by 16th February 2018, so please get your applications in by completing Nomination and Suitability forms as soon as you can and email to . The forms can be found here:
You will need to be a paid-up member of ARPAS-UK in order to stand for election.

Spotlight on Events & Marketing Director
We’re making some changes in how we deliver the breadth of our marketing and communications at ARPAS-UK. For the 2018/19 term, we’ll have a much stronger focus on events, so we’ve created a new Director role for Events and Marketing. Key responsibilities of the role include:

  • Promote ARPAS-UK vision and increase presence in public eye.
  • Increase ARPAS-UK presence and oversee involvement in relevant trade shows, exhibitions, conferences etc
  • Work with key companies, such as DJI, on development of strategic opportunities

Please consider applying. You can find the Nomination and Suitability forms here:

Can’t Attend the AGM? You Can Still Vote for Directors to Represent You
We’ll be voting for a number of new Directors at the AGM. Make your vote count – if you’re unable to attend the AGM, you can appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf. Just complete the Proxy Voting Form, and appoint a member to vote for you.

If you don’t know of a member attending, you can appoint the Chairman to vote for you.
You can find the Proxy Voting Form here:  Please email to, to be received no later than 23rd February 2018.

UK Airprox Board Report: 25th October 2017, Drone and Airbus 321
Many of you will have seen press coverage of the recent Airprox Board report (2017254): the crew of an Airbus 321 saw a 3 or 4 engine white drone pass over the First Officer’s window at a range of about 5ft over Kew, at 1700 ft, on approach to Heathrow.
Read more:

If you’re flying this week, please Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK

22nd January 2018

It is with sadness I have to tell you of the sudden death of Michael Morris on 15th January 2018. Michael was a very valued member, and I know had both close friends and contacts in ARPAS-UK. If any of you would like to get in touch with Michael’s family, please email and Elena will be able to provide details. Our thoughts are with Michael’s wife Poppy and all his family at this sad time.

ARPAS-UK AGM, 2nd March 2018 – 1st pack of papers
On Friday 19th the first pack of papers for the AGM was emailed to all members. If you didn’t receive that email, please contact and ask for another pack to be sent to you. You can also find the documents in the Technical Forum here:  The pack contains Nomination Forms and Nominee Suitability forms should you wish to stand as a Director of ARPAS-UK.

How to Register to Attend the ARPAS-UK 2018 AGM
If you would like to attend the 2018 AGM, please email no later than 16th February. You are welcome to bring additional members, dependent on your membership category, but please indicate this in your email. Your place at the AGM will be confirmed when you register, but please note we will not be confirming any additional places until after 16th January 2018, subject to spaces being available.

RAeS UAS SG Meeting, 16th January
As corporate members of the Royal Aeronautical Society, ARPAS-UK is a member of the RAeS UAS Specialist Group. Rupert Dent, the ARPAS-UK Legislation Director, attended the 16th January meeting last week on behalf of ARPAS-UK, looking in particular at RAeS events for 2018.

CAA is Recruiting
CAA has informed ARPAS that it is currently advertising for a UAS Policy Specialist and has asked that we circulate the opportunity to members. Read more:

Changes to EG157, Hyde Park Restricted Area
Please note that NATS has changed the borders of the Hyde Park Restricted Area in Central London to encompass the new US embassy. Read more:

If you’re flying this week, please Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK


15th January 2018

Most of this week’s blog is about out forthcoming AGM, and all the work that’s going into preparing for that meeting, as well as the structure and the team for the next term. We are seeing massive changes in the industry, and ARPAS is keeping apace to help members meet the new challenges that face us – new regulation, new supply chains developing ……

The ARPAS structure for 2018 / 19 will help us meet those challenges, and I would personally like to thank the ARPAS Directors and team for the huge effort which is being expended in achieving this. Please support your Association by attending the AGM.

Attending the ARPAS-UK 2018 AGM, 2nd March 2018
I hope you’ll have seen this month’s Newsletter from Dylan, which was sent to all members on Friday. The January edition was packed with information, particularly about the forthcoming AGM on 2nd March at the Draycote Hotel near Rugby. Please try to attend – this a chance to pose direct questions to Committee Members, and vote for who you want to represent you next term. It is also a rare opportunity to meet with DJI and with Pix4D, both of which will be sponsoring the AGM and speaking there. Read here..

Standing for ARPAS Committee or SubCommittees in 2018/19
Do you feel strongly about the drone industry? Do you have views about ways in which ARPAS can deliver on its priorities? Then please get involved, either as a Director, or, if you don’t feel that’s for you, as a subcommittee member. Read more here..
I would like to thank those who have already expressed interest. The clock is now ticking, but if you haven’t already, there is still time to apply to be elected as a Director or work as a subcommittee member. You might like to consider one of the following roles.

Standing as a Director:
The first AGM Information Pack will be emailed to all members by 19th January 2018. You will need to be nominated by another member, then complete the pro-formas and return the forms by 16th February 2018.

Applying to be a SubCommittee Member:
Email Sue Wolfe, the Business Development Director, on, by 23rd February, indicating your area of interest. Read more..

Major Funding Opportunity for UK Creative Industries
A new Innovate funding opportunity came across my desk last week: as part of its Industrial Strategy, the Government has recently announced a major funding opportunity for the UK’s creative industries, with the potential for a £33m challenge fund. Read more: 

If you’re flying this week, take care and Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK

8th January 2018

Happy New Year!

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all members a very Happy New Year, and hope that you all had a good break over the Christmas period.  We have a particularly exciting time coming up in ARPAS-UK, so this week I’d like to give you a quick overview of what’s around the corner, as well as some good news stories and information from the last few weeks.

Hot off the Press

ARPAS-UK has reached a few key deadlines already this year and will be bringing you news of the outcomes shortly, as we still need to review / act on the information.  Deadlines which have now passed include those for:

  • Expressions of Interest for 2018 Directorships and Sub-Committee membership
  • Applications for Chief Executive of ARPAS-UK
  • Responses to the 2017 Membership Survey

Run-Up to the ARPAS-UK AGM

With the AGM approaching on 2nd March, schedules are now being put in place to provide you with information and the papers for the AGM.  Please keep your eye on the Monthly Newsletter and your email inbox over the next few weeks, as ARPAS will be sending you some important documentation on the future of your Association.

ARPAS Closes Deal with the National Federation of Roofing Contractors

Over the last year, ARPAS has been working with the NFRC to proactively market ARPAS member services in the roofing industry.  An agreement has now been reached which includes NFRC promoting the expertise and capabilities of ARPAS members and their services.

This is a great opportunity for those members operating in the construction  / roofing sector to use their ARPAS membership to open more doors into the sector, and at the same time promoting safe and professional operation.    Read more: 

Productive Discussions with CAA

Rupert Dent, the ARPAS Legislation Director, led our most recent round of discussions with the CAA on 18th December.  Among other issues, we addressed some of the concerns related to the turnaround time of PfCO renewal applications and requests for an OSC, as reported by ARPAS members.  The capacity of the shared service team at Gatwick is in the process of being increased, funded by the proposed by the £0.5m increase in charges from 2018/19.  Read more: 

Airspace Change and Related Public Consultations

Now ARPAS-UK is a member of national regulatory safety committees, it routinely receives information about airspace change and related public consultations and related matters.  These are all posted under the Contacts (flight planning) section of the Technical Forum and you can keep abreast of them HERE:  

We have received information on two new consultations in the last month, RAF Brize Norton Consultation for Airspace Change Proposal, and Carlisle Airport Public Consultation for Implementation of New Instrument Flight Procedures (RNAV), 

If you’re flying this week, keep warm and Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner

Chairman, ARPAS-UK

18th December 2017

Merry Christmas!
With just a week to go, may I take this opportunity to wish all members a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Do have a great break.
Please note that this will be the last Chairman’s Report of 2017. I’ll start my report again in the New Year on Monday 8th January 2018.

Office Christmas Closure
Our ARPAS-UK team will be taking a few days off over the Christmas period, so please note that the ARPAS-UK office will be closed for normal business from close of play on Friday 22nd December, opening again on Tuesday 2nd January 2018. Any queries received over the holiday period will be responded to as soon as possible after the office reopens.

2017 Membership Survey – a week left to have your say
There’s only a week left to complete the 2017 Membership Survey, which closes on 24th December 2017. The Business Planning process for the 2018 / 19 term will begin in earnest in the New Year, so please make sure you have your say before that process begins. You can access the link to the survey HERE:

Membership Director’s Christmas Update
Bryan Stanislas, our Membership Director, has prepared a Christmas report for members. The report contains a succinct list of key direct membership benefits which is over and above all our ongoing policy and regulatory work. It also contains information about future regional members’ meetings and other membership matters. You can find the report HERE:

ARPAS-UK Working with Other Membership Bodies
I’m delighted that ARPAS-UK had the opportunity work with the Landscape Institute and participate in the drafting and review of its Technical Information Note on Drones, which is now published. You can read the description and download the Technical Information HERE.

This is just one example of a range of collaborative relationships being forged across industry with ARPAS-UK, bringing mutual benefits to all involved. I’ll be bringing you further news of similar collaborations in 2018.

With the Christmas party season upon us, if you’re flying this week or over the Christmas period, then please continue to Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK

11th December 2017

Action Members!
It’s the time of the year when the ARPAS-UK Committee asks its membership to get more involved in the future of ARPAS-UK. I hope you’ll have seen in Friday’s Newsletter that we are now seeking general Expressions of Interest for Directors’ roles for 2018 as well as seeking Expressions of Interest for sub-committee roles.  Please email Sue Wolfe on if you are interested.

Member Survey

You can also help to shape priorities for 2018 by taking part in the 2017 Membership Survey which will be out in the next few days – keep an eye on your inboxes. Read more..

Date for your Diary – Friday 2nd March 2018, The Draycote Hotel
A reminder that the ARPAS-UK AGM will be held on 2nd March at the same venue as last year, the Draycote Hotel, Rugby. Please save the date. 

Global Counter-Terrorism Conference
I recently attended the UK Security Show on 29th and 30th November, a leading security exhibition and conference for the UK, as a guest speaker on behalf of ARPAS-UK. I was particularly interested in the extent to which drones and counter drone technology has taken centre stage. Read more.. 

If you’re flying this week, then please continue to Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK

4th December 2017

Members’ Questions for DJI: A Reminder
I noticed that there’s been discussion lately on questions members have for DJI. I’d like to remind you that ARPAS-UK members have a unique Q&A route to DJI that was negotiated by Dylan Baldwin when DJI first joined ARPAS. This is via the Technical Forum,  where your questions can be posted and responses are made available to all ARPAS members. The intention is to build up a knowledge bank for the benefit of all ARPAS-UK members. It’s a great opportunity to have this unique facility and direct access to DJI in place, so I’d like to encourage all members to make use of it.

RNLI Challenge Briefing, 27th November 2017
Last Monday I attended the RNLI Challenge briefing at Poole – many of you have been following our close association with RNLI, which has come about as a result of the AIRSTART programme.
It was very well attended with over 60 attendees drawn from a very wide spectrum of companies, from micro SMEs to multinationals, including ARPAS-UK members.
The RNLI Challenge Demonstrations are set to be held over a week in April 2018. Read more: 

Government Industrial Strategy White Paper published 27th November
The Government published its Industrial Strategy White Paper on Monday 27th November. While broad and far-reaching, it also refers to 4 Grand Challenges, one of which is to “put the UK at the forefront of the artificial intelligence and data revolution”. This Challenge has the opportunity to include drones and drone operations as in the current Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, so the drone sector is potentially included within the White Paper and future Government priorities. Read more: 

If you’re flying this week, then please continue to Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK

26th November 2017

DfT Draft Drone Bill scheduled for Spring 2018
The Government has announced its plans to publish legislation in Spring 2018 to deliver some of the key measures set out in its July consultation response.
I welcome the Government’s announcement, and I’m pleased to see progress against July’s Consultation Report. I support the Government’s plans which I believe improves safety and security and enables our industry to compete successfully in a global marketplace. ARPAS-UK will continue to engage with Government and will actively participate in future consultations on this topic. Read more:

ARPAS-UK Continues to Strengthen Communications with the GA Sector
I was pleased to note last week that ARPAS-UK was formally voted onto the GASCo Council at its meeting on 22nd November, and we look forward to further engagement through future Council meetings.
Last week ARPAS also supported the City Livery company, The Honourable Company of Air Pilots, in raising awareness of drones with its members. Read more: 

Government Funding for the Flying High Challenge – Drone Services in Cities
£500,000 of Government funding has been announced for The Flying High Challenge, run by Nesta in partnership with Innovate UK.
ARPAS-UK has previously spoken with Nesta about this exciting approach to urban operations: Read more:

The programme will be launched on Monday 27 November, and we’ll bring you further information as soon as it becomes available. Read more:

If you’re flying this week, then please continue to Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK

20th November 2017

The Commercial UAV Show, 15/16 November
The highlight of last week for ARPAS-UK was, of course, our attendance at the Commercial UAV Show. It was great to meet so many of you there, and thanks to all who took the time to come and say hallo. We were busy throughout, and as well as old faces, we saw many new faces too. As a result, we are anticipating that there will be some new members joining our ranks in the near future.
Read more:

Bulletin from the LRWG
I hope you all found time to browse the Monthly Newsletter that arrived in our mailboxes last week It showed the breadth and extent of all that’s happening in ARPAS-UK at the moment. I was particularly interested in seeing the bulletin from the LRWG, with clarification of some troublesome regulatory issues. LRWG continues to be busy, and is meeting again today, 20th November, to continue its work. Read more:

Much is progressing on AIRSTART at the moment, with a funding workshop today, and a quarterly progress review tomorrow. For those interested, please visit our AIRSTART website for some of the latest news and updates: . The project will shortly be compiling a case study for ATI, out sponsors, and we’ll get that to you as soon as it’s available. Read more:

If you’re flying this week, then please Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK

14th November 2017

The Commercial UAV Show, 15/16 November
A final reminder for those of you attending the Commercial UAV Show on 15th and 16th November that we’ll be at Stand 11 – do come and visit us. Rupert Dent, our Legislation Director, will be speaking at the event, and Dr Al Savvaris from Cranfield University will be speaking about AIRSTART. May I take this opportunity to wish you a successful show.
Read More

Making the most of AIRSTART
Some of this week has been taken up with the quarterly process of preparing presentations, financial reports and claims for the last 3 months’ work on the AIRSTART project. Sound boring? Well maybe so, but since the project started, ARPAS-UK has received over £70,000 in grant income. The project finishes in April 2018. Want to find out more about AIRSTART? Read more

Drones and General Aviation
Although it might, at first sight, seem an unlikely alliance, I’m seeing increasing links and opportunities between the drone and GA communities. I’m delighted that ARPAS have been invited to the LAA 2018 rally, and that we have now also begun dialogue with GAAC. Read more

A Notification from Hawarden Airport
I have received notification of a consultation that has been launched concerning a proposal to establish Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) approaches to the runways at Hawarden Airport. If you think you might be affected by this change, then please Read More

If you find time and a weather window to fly this week, then please Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK

7th November 2017

Answering Your Questions
The ARPAS-UK admin team is here to help you with any difficulties you may have with your membership, logging in to the website or other related matters. Please email with any queries.
I’ve noticed recently that members are occasionally posting questions on the ARPAS-UK FB Group. Please note that this group isn’t moderated, and your questions and comments may well be missed, so please make sure you email any queries directly to the email address above.

ARPAS-UK Members’ LinkedIn Group
Here’s another reminder to stay connected across all our social media channels. If you haven’t already, do join the ARPAS-UK LinkedIn Members’ Group where you can keep up to date with news and participate in discussions. Join Here 

The Commercial UAV Show, 15/16 November
For those of you attending the Commercial UAV Show on 15th and 16th November, here’s a reminder that we’ll be at Stand 11 – do come and visit us. Rupert Dent, our Legislation Director, will be speaking at the Show. Read More:

ARPAS-UK October Committee Meeting: AGM Planning
The main discussion area at our last Committee Meeting was planning and preparation for our 2018 AGM. You’ll be seeing more information about it in the forthcoming weeks, and we’ll be bringing you the date for your diary in the next monthly Newsletter. We’ll be updating the Business Plan for 2018, and I hope you’ll already have seen our progress report. Read more:

News from UVSI: Survey and Webinar
As you may be aware, ARPAS-UK is a member of UVSI, which brings together and provides information to UAV Trade Associations across Europe. We’ve recently received communications on the UVSI survey, which some of you may already have participated in. Read more:
UVSI has also informed us of a forthcoming webinar covering aspects of Safety, Insurance, Certification & Regulation in Europe. Read more: 

If you’re flying this week, then please Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK

30th October 2017

In Memoriam: Nick Alexander

I was very sad to hear of the passing of our member Nick Alexander earlier this month. He was held in such high regard and affection by so many.

We’ve heard from his family, who have said: “We would like to pass on the details for the funeral arrangements and hope they get passed on to anyone who knew Nick and would like to attend. A service will be held at Holy Cross Church, Felsted, Essex, CM6 3DG at 2:00pm on Monday 6th November.”

Those who knew Nick are going to miss an old friend and colleague and even those who never had the pleasure of meeting him face to face must surely have come across his writing and his wicked sense of humour. No-one could have read his Taser story without tears of laughter running down their faces.

If you feel it’s appropriate, and would like to remember one of Nick’s best-loved tales at any time, we’re keeping it here to remember him by… Read Here

I would like to dedicate my blog this week to the memory of Nick, friend and colleague to many ARPAS-UK members. He’ll be much missed.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK

23rd October 2017

Last week in ARPAS-UK: Standards and Regulation.
I hope you’ve already had a chance to browse Dylan Baldwin’s Monthly Newsletter that should have hit your inboxes on Friday – there’s been a lot happening in the last month. Do check out some of the new member discounts we have for you: HERE  .  As usual, I’m bringing some updates on last week’s activities to you – not only have we been busy, but our wider industry profile is continuing to grow.

ARPAS-UK Becomes the Newest Member of the National Air Traffic Management Advisory Committee, NATMAC.
ARPAS-UK is delighted to have been invited by NATMAC Chairman Mark Swann to become the newest member of the Committee, the National Air Traffic Management Advisory Committee, replacing UAVS after its closure.  At its 82nd meeting on Thursday 18th Oct, Sue Wolfe, ARPAS Business Development Director, was invited to attend as a guest. Read more..

Legislation and Regulation Working Group, LRWG
The Legislation and Regulation Working Group (LRWG) met on 17th October to establish its priorities between now and March 2018, and to work through how to take those priorities forward. Read more..

BSI Standard on Unmanned Aircraft Systems – Meeting 17th October
While the LRWG was meeting, Matt Lee, Standards Director, was attending a BSI Standards Committee Meeting in London, BSI ACE/001/0-/02 Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Matt sits on a number of the BSI subcommittees of particular interest to ARPAS-UK, and will be bringing you regular news and updates. Read more..

If you’re flying this week, then please Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK

16th October 2017

Last week in ARPAS-UK: Events and Communication

Responding to Members’ Questions
ARPAS-UK provides multiple communication channels for its members. ARPAS-UK does not moderate all these channels, so I would like to remind members to email the relevant Director  if they wish to receive a response to a specific question, or use the Technical Forum for technical comments and queries.
Please also remember that if you have a question for DJI, there is a Q&A section in each monthly Newsletter. You can post your questions to DJI here:

2017 Schedule of Events
As part of its commitment to delivering its Business Plan milestones to members, ARPAS-UK maintains periodic updates of its events calendar throughout the year. We have just produced the latest update on our events schedule here: 

Visit us at Stand 11 at the Commercial UAV Show, 15th – 16th November
Work is progressing apace in preparing our stand and talk at the Commercial UAV Show on 15th – 16th November. Come and talk to us at Stand 11. Read more: 

2017 The Year of Autonomy – Energy Harvesting
ARPAS-UK has been following the 2017 programme for The Year of Autonomy, and we presented on regulation earlier this year. I have just been informed that the 5th event in the series is on Energy Harvesting on 26th October. You can register for the event here:

If you’re flying this week, then please Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK

9th October 2017

Last week in ARPAS-UK
ARPAS-UK was deep in planning and administrative work last week, looking ahead to 2018 and how we can best support you. Here are some highlights from last week’s activities

Potential Grant Funding Post AIRSTART
Work has been continuing this week to explore potential grant funding options for ARPAS post AIRSTART, which finishes on 30th April 2018. ARPAS has been working closely with it partners in AIRSTART to develop plans. Read more:

NQE Standards Guidelines on Operator Competence
Following the successful and productive first meeting of the ARPAS-coordinated NQE Group, we are delighted that further NQEs have expressed interest in becoming part of the group. The Group will be progressing with drafting work during October. Read more:

Scottish Regional Meeting, 27th October
Planning is in full swing for a regional meeting just north of Glasgow on 27th October. Hear more about what’s been happening in ARPAS-UK and Police Scotland’s approach to commercial operations. Read more

It’s getting late in the season now, but if you’re flying this week, then Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK

2nd October 2017

Last week in ARPAS-UK

Drone Industry Action Group 26th September

At the IAG meeting on 26th September, the IAG Standards Group, co-ordinated by ARPAS-UK, was asked to prepare a UK standards “roadmap” of drone standards activity across the different industry sectors in the UK. This will inform members operating in the sectors of future requirements for operating in those areas. Read more:

NQE Group on Standards Guidelines – 1st Meeting 28th September

Matt Lee has gained agreement from UK NQEs in proceeding to draft voluntary standards guidelines on pilot competences.   The group comprises over 40% of the UK NQEs who agreed an outline process for a more robust uniform training product to students undertaking PfCO training.  Read more: 

ARPAS-UK September Committee Meeting 28th September

ARPAS-UK held its September Committee Meeting on Thursday evening 28th September.  Discussions included the 2018 AGM, the report on progress against Business Plan milestones (to be circulated to members on October) and progress on CPD.  Approved minutes will be made available on the Forum.

UK Pathfinder Programme Dissemination Event 29th September

DfT and BEIS hosted the first dissemination event on the Pathfinder Programme on 29th September.  4 Pathfinder projects were presented, on Infrastructure Inspection, Construction, Maritime Applications and Improving Survey Efficiencies.   Read More: 

If you’re flying this week, then please Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner

Chairman, ARPAS-UK


25th September 2017

Preparation and Planning
Much of last week in ARPAS-UK entailed considerable preparation and planning for a range of meetings being held this coming week. All of these meetings are important to the future work and direction of ARPAS-UK, so we’re anticipating that the forthcoming few days will be significant. Here’s a summary of our preparatory work and planning for the week ahead :

Drone Industry Action Group
The Drone IAG will be meeting on Tuesday 26th September. Matt Lee and Sue Wolfe will subsequently be meeting with members of the BSI Standards Group on Thursday 28th September. Read more about the work of ARPAS-UK in the Drone IAG, and how this benefits ARPAS-UK: HERE

NQE Drafting Group on Standards Guidelines
Matt Lee will be co-ordinating the first meeting of this group on Thursday 28th September, and has prepared initial documentation to support the work. Around one third of the current UK NQEs will be attending the meeting. Read more: HERE

UK Pathfinder Programme Dissemination Event
Many members have enquired in the past about the UK Pathfinder Programme, as information is not readily available online. The aims of the Pathfinder Programme is to demonstrate routine BVLOS operations by 2020 in all classes of airspace. A number of Pathfinder projects are now underway, and Sue Wolfe will be attending an invitation-only dissemination event on Friday 29th September and will feedback to ARPAS-UK members.

ARPAS-UK September Committee Meeting
ARPAS-UK will be holding its September Committee Meeting on Thursday evening 28th September. The agenda will include, among other things, our forthcoming AGM.

I wish you a good week ahead, and if you’re flying, then Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK

18th September 2017

Coming to Fruition
I hope you’ve all had a chance to browse our monthly Newsletter by now, which represents much planning and activity coming together. I’ll highlight in this week’s blog some of the activity which enabled such a fruitful Newsletter to be issued.

Discounts for ARPAS Members
Most of the ARPAS-UK directors have been involved in bringing together / reconfirming the excellent package of discounts available to ARPAS-UK members. These are brought together in a new east to access webpage: HERE

ARPAS-UK final response to the EASA NPA
ARPAS-UK submitted its final response to EASA on Tuesday 12th September. I’d like to thank all those members who submitted their own responses too, I hope you found our template useful and easy to use. Read more: HERE

I wish you a good week ahead, and if you’re flying, then Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK

13th September 2017

Special Edition Chairman’s Blog: last chance to submit your response to EASA
I’m sure you’ll all be pleased to know that this will be the last time I talk about responding to the EASA NPA, as the deadline is on Friday. So as a final push, I’m focussing solely on a roundup of the NPA in this week’s blog.

What the NPA is all about
You might still be wondering why new EASA regulations have any impact on the UK, given our Brexit negotiations. Most countries world-wide are or will be adopting similar regulatory structures, so it was inevitable that the UK would follow suit. For a short and simple summary, see the notes that Paul Shelley provided for us back in July: HERE.

Your Response Could Make a Difference
Many of you have expressed concern about non-PfCO holders undertaking commercial work. Under the current EASA prototype rules, there is no differentiation between commercial operators and leisure users. This is one of the key issues we need to try to influence, and it’s not too late to take just 15 minutes to submit your response by 15th September. Here’s a step by step guide:
It could be the most valuable 15 minutes you could spend ……..

ARPAS-UK Submits its Corporate Response to EASA
The ARPAS Committee has worked hard to make it quick and simple for you to submit a response. However, that has taken much time and effort, and ARPAS-UK submitted a full and considered corporate response to EASA on 12th September. If you would like to look at it, you can find the full response here:

What happens now?
Do we sit back and wait? No, definitely not. We’ll be speaking to CAA about the issues and exploring potential future roles for ARPAS-UK. We’ll be putting some actions in place ourselves. We’ll be looking to influence and input on Standard Scenarios. In short, we’ll be continuing our efforts both home and away for ARPAS members.
Dylan’s forthcoming September Newsletter will hold some more details, so be sure to look out for it, it will be hitting your Mailboxes very shortly.

I wish you a good week ahead, and if you have a flying window, then Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK

4th September 2017

Last week in ARPAS-UK
ARPAS-UK August Committee Meeting – progress against our Business Plan Milestones
We held our monthly committee meeting last week. Approved minutes will be posted on the Technical Forum as usual. In advance of that, one of the main topics of discussion included an interim report on your Committee’s progress against the Milestones that you, the membership, set for us through last year’s membership survey. The report will be published in the next few weeks.

ARPAS-UK final response to the EASA NPA
The deadline for comments on the ARPAS-UK response has now passed, and thank you to those who provided comments. The final response has been drafted (with only minor amendments to the draft version) and is awaiting final approval from the Committee.
Read more….

All Members Reminder: Please respond directly to EASA on the NPA
I strongly urge each and every one of you to submit your own responses directly to EASA. There are currently elements of the new proposed rules which would enable complex operations to be undertaken with only limited training and assessment, which ARPAS-UK does not support. This could be changed if enough direct responses are received. See the ARPAS member’s TEMPLATE to help you do this.
The deadline is 15th September, but you’ll need to register, so aim for 14th September at the latest.

Please note than next week’s blog won’t be published until Wednesday 13th September, due to other commitments. I wish you a good week ahead, and if you’re flying, then Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK

29th August 2017

Last week in ARPAS-UK

Goodbye to Carey

Carey is leaving us at the end of this week to move to pastures new.  She has been a stalwart of ARPAS-UK and we’ll all miss her valuable, dedicated and friendly contribution to the association.  I’d like to add my own personal thanks to all the help she has given me since my election in March.  Read more: 

ARPAS-UK Draft response to the EASA NPA

ARPAS-UK published its draft response to the EASA NPA on 24th August.  It is open for comments and feedback from members until Thursday 31st August, so please make any comments you wish in the Technical Forum thread.  Read more:

All Members:  Please respond directly to EASA on the NPA

I strongly urge each and every one of you to submit your own responses directly to EASA.  There are currently elements of the new proposed rules which would enable complex operations to be undertaken with only limited training and assessment, which ARPAS-UK does not support.  This could be changed if enough direct responses are received.  See the ARPAS member’s template to help you do this: HERE


I wish you a good week ahead, and if you’re flying, then Fly Smart, Fly Safe.


Perran Bonner

Chairman, ARPAS-UK

21st August 2017

Last week in ARPAS-UK – Goodbye and hello

Goodbye and a new face for ARPAS-UK regulation

As you may have already seen in the ARPAS-UK news last week, we are sadly waving goodbye to Jon Parker as Legislation Director, but are very pleased to welcome Rupert Dent from Bridgeway-Aerial on board, stepping into the Legislation role.  Read more…  

Rupert will be helped by the work of the Legislation and Regulation Working Group (LRWG) and its chairman Michael Kheng.  Work in the LRWG will be hotting up shortly, so keep your eye on my future blogs for news on that.

Technical responses from DJI

If you’ve looked at last week’s monthly Newsletter, you’ll have seen that DJI & ARPAS-UK are working to develop a members’ technical contact system for a faster response to urgent technical/firmware questions that could hamper commercial operations. The August questions and answers were published last week.  To read those and to post questions for next month, please see the Technical Forum HERE.

AIRSTART programme extended

I was pleased to learn that our application to Innovate-UK for an extension to the AIRSTART programme has now been approved, and the project will end on 30th April 2018.  While this doesn’t bring us any additional funds, it does help to support us and our partners in AIRSTART for a little longer.  Read more..

Work is continuing to look at the potential for an AIRSTART 2 programme, and I’ll bring you more on that soon.

Please note that next week’s blog won’t be published until Tuesday 29th August due to the August Bank Holiday.  Have a good time over the extended weekend, and if you’re flying, then do make sure you Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner

Chairman, ARPAS-UK

14th  August 2017

Last week in ARPAS-UK – Preparing for regulatory change.

Do the changes affect you?

The ARPAS team and I spent much time last week in preparation for the forthcoming regulatory changes which will affect us all.   You can have an impact on those changes in three ways.  I would strongly recommend you respond on all three:

  1. Read and feed back on the ARPAS-UK response on the EASA consultation.
  2. Respond directly to EASA – ARPAS will provide text you can use.
  3. Many of you completed the recent ARPAS questionnaire, already helping us formulate our response. Please also complete UVSI’s questionnaire which will be submitted directly to EASA to support the drone operators’ position.

Timetable for Consultation on the EASA NPA

The final deadline for responses to the EASA consultation is on 15th September, and we have now announced our timetable.  The first draft of the response will be published on 24th August, and members’ comments will be accepted up until 31st August.  Read more HERE

How to Respond Directly to EASA

In order to make a formal response, you will need to register with EASA to use their online response process, so please register in good time and familiarise yourself with the process. The ARPAS team will be recommending key comments to make, and these will be published on 24th August.  Read more HERE

What is UVSI’s Questionnaire, and How to Respond

ARPAS-UK is a corporate member of UVSI, an association representing all the drone trade associations in Europe and the UK, and which is influential in Europe and further field.  UVSI is conducting a survey for drone operators to ensure EASA bases its rule-making on first-hand data.  The UVSI questionnaire is open until 15th September.  Read more HERE

If you’re flying during the next week, then please make sure you Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner

Chairman, ARPAS-UK



7th August 2017

Last week in ARPAS-UK – Members’ Deals and Inputs

New Members

You may have seen our recent announcement that we have invited past members of UAVS to join ARPAS-UK . Last week we began the process of welcoming our new members on board from UAVS. I’m delighted that a number of them have experience of European regulatory issues, and have already started to help ARPAS in that area. We’ll be bringing you more updates soon.

Members’ Deals and Discounts

ARPAS-UK is constantly looking for the opportunity to enter into agreements with suppliers to provide useful discounts and deals for members. I’ve been discussing a new deal for members which I brought to an agreement last week, and I’m aiming to announce in the next few days. To make our deals and discounts easier for members to access, we’re also currently working on providing a continually updated list which will be easy for members to access – coming shortly.

Publication of Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA) by JARUS

Last week JARUS published a document recommending a risk assessment methodology to establish a sufficient level of confidence that a specific operation can be conducted safely. Do read the document if you can, it could have significance for future operations

With weather windows looking to potentially improve during next week and if you’re flying, then please Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner

Chairman, ARPAS-UK


31st July 2017

Last week in ARPAS-UK – Planning Ahead

Most of my time last week in ARPAS-UK concerned looking ahead and planning not just for the next few months, but also looking ahead for next year.


July Committee Meeting

Last Monday brought our 6th meeting of this term of the Committee – already half way through. As a Committee we feel we have made significant strides, particularly on our regulatory and government liaison and in our communications processes and will be reporting 6-monthly progress shortly. Minutes of the meeting will be available as usual on the Technical Forum.


Drone Industry Action Group

Also last Monday was one of the regular meetings of the Government-supported Drone IAG, with co-ordinated by BEIS. ARPAS-UK is taking one of the lead positions on future standards development, which is endorsed by the Drone IAG and in the Government response to “Unlocking the UK’s High Tech Economy: Consultation on the Safe Use of Drones in the UK”. Read the response here:


Exploring AIRSTART 2

Most of you will be aware of the AIRSTART grant-aided project supporting the development of BVLOS technology and professionalism in the industry. We are now looking ahead to explore opportunities for an AIRSTART 2 initiative next year. We recently attended a preliminary meeting with the Aerospace Technology Institute to understand potential options. Read more about AIRSTART here:


As ever, take care this week, and make sure you Fly Smart, Fly Safe.


Perran Bonner

Chairman, ARPAS-UK


24th July 2017

Last week in ARPAS-UK  – Recognition of our Association

A common theme of last week’s events was the extent to which ARPAS-UK is recognised as a significant player and is able to influence forthcoming changes in the UK and Europe.  I would like to thank all of you, our members, and our Directors in contributing to this recognition and level of influence we now have in the industry.

Publication of the Government response to “Unlocking the UK’s High Tech Economy: Consultation on the Safe Use of Drones in the UK”.

The highlight of last week was surely Saturday’s publication of the Government response to “Unlocking the UK’s High Tech Economy: Consultation on the Safe Use of Drones in the UK”. The work of ARPAS-UK was publicly recognised and demonstrated by the report carrying references and a link to the ARPAS-UK website.  Much of the ARPAS-UK’s responses were included in the report.  Read more: 

ARPAS-UK Design Thinking Workshop on CPD

On Wednesday 18th July, ARPAS-UK Directors embarked on the next steps on CPD with a Design Thinking workshop.  Read more..

Achieving Scalable & Sustainable UAS Operations – Digital Catapult

On 18th and 19th July we were, as invitees, one of only 3 speakers introducing a national workshop in London exploring Unmanned Traffic Management and the shape of UAS Operations for the future.   The one and a half day workshop was well-attended by ARPAS-UK members.  Read more..

If any of you are able to get away on holiday with the school vacation starting, then do have a good break.  If, however, you are busy in our high season, then please continue to Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner

Chairman, ARPAS-UK


For 17th July 2017

Last week in ARPAS-UK  – Strategic Alliances

A very eventful week for ARPAS-UK.  You’ll have all received Dylan’s monthly Newsletter on Friday 14th July, so I hope many of you will have been reading some of our recent news.  Here’s my round-up for last week:


My most exciting news for last week is that I am delighted to welcome DJI as one of ARPAS-UK’s newest members. We welcome organisations and individuals working in every aspect of the drone industry, from manufacturing and distribution to operations, training and consultancy. We strongly believe that, with DJI as an active member, we will be able to help fulfil the needs of all our members.

We’ll have more news in a similar vein coming soon, so keep an eye on our updates.

 BBC Interview 

On Thursday I was interviewed by the BBC for multiple programmes, including BBC South and Look East.  The topics included safety and illegal operators, which I know are topics of significant concern to many members.  I was joined by one of our ARPAS-UK members, Essex Police, to specifically address illegal operations.  I am pleased a balanced approach to these issues are getting air time through the BBC, and I’ll post a link to the interview when available.

UVS International Survey on Drone Operations

You may have seen an email from Matt Lee, our Standards Director, last week.  UVS International, of which ARPAS-UK is a member, is surveying UAS/RPAS/Drone Operators on an international basis and will be feeding back on an international scale to Civil Aviation Authorities, EASA and many other organisations. While some of the questions are very similar to the recent EASA Workshop poll, from the great response we had, it is clear that you, our members, want to be engaged with discussions that will have an effect on you, so I would urge you to complete the survey if you have a few minutes available. HERE

More to tell you about over the coming weeks, we continue to be very busy in our engagement with the industry, and in the meantime, Fly Smart, Fly Safe.


Perran Bonner

Chairman, ARPAS-UK





10th July 2017

Last week in ARPAS-UK – Joining In and Joining Up

EASA Workshop
On 5th July last week, Paul Shelley, the ARPAS-UK Education and Safety Director, attended an EASA workshop and presentation of EASA’s Drone rules proposal in Cologne. We’ve been bringing you news of this event, which could have significant impact for future regulation. Paul will be bringing you more details of what happened, and we hope that some of you took the opportunity to join the live streaming (WATCH HERE). We’ll also be publishing results of the EASA poll to members shortly too.

Don’t Miss ARPAS News Stories
Thanks largely to the sterling work of our PR and Marketing Director, Dylan Baldwin, ARPAS-UK brings you regular updates and news stories through a whole range of social media channels. Join our LinkedIn group, for news, updates and discussion, LINKEDIN. Check out our website news page for the latest from ARPAS-UK and the wider industry , and look out for the monthly Newsletter hitting your mailboxes on the 14th July. And of course, don’t forget my weekly blog!

Have a good week, all, and whatever you’re doing, Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK




3rd July 2017

Last week in ARPAS-UK – Drone Communities

Last week in ARPAS-UK had a flavour of different drone communities coming together. This included all of us in ARPAS-UK, the SAR community and of course the European community, which will be a continuing theme.

ARPAS-UK is committed to social and humanitarian benefits of drones. As a result we have always supported Emergency Services (ES) and Search & Rescue (SAR) applications for drones and we have many ES member organisations. I was therefore delighted to see that the work RNLI has led on the role of new technologies, including drones, in SAR has now come to fruition. The report to which ARPAS-UK and its AIRSTART partners have contributed, can be found HERE.

Your Input to the EASA Consultation on New Regulations
The highlight of last week for me was my first sight of the results of the recent members’ poll, which closed on Wednesday 28th June. While there hasn’t been time as yet to analyse the results, we had a staggering return of 156 responses, around a third of member organisations, which will enable us to accurately represent the views of members in our discussions and feedback to EASA and CAA. Further information can be found HERE. I’d like to personally thank all members who completed poll, helping your Committee to represent our drone community better.

ARPAS-UK Committee
Last Monday your committee met for its monthly meeting, to review progress against its Milestones and other matters. We discussed final arrangements for membership cards, which many of you have told us you wanted, and these will be sent to all members later this year. Minutes of the meeting will be available on the Technical Forum as usual. Minutes of the May meeting can be found HERE.

Your Committee is set for another busy time next week, as I’m sure you all are, so let’s make sure that we all Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK

26th June 2017

Last week in ARPAS-UK – Consultations and Contacts

EASA Consultation
Last week I talked about the EASA proposed European Regulations for Unmanned Aircraft (Drones), and this has been to topic of ongoing debate on our discussion Fora. Both ARPAS and CAA has stressed the importance for as many members as possible to respond individually to the consultation, as these regulatory changes will affect all of us, either directly or indirectly. The relevant Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) can be found HERE

Please note that the deadline for response has been extended by 1 month to 15th September 2017. A number of you have commented on the complexity of the NPA and therefore the difficulty in responding. ARPAS-UK will be providing a corporate response, and will publish a template for members to submit if you so wish, or to use as the basis for your own responses. Given the extended deadline, ARPAS will publish a template for members by 31st August 2017.
As part of the consultation process, I explained last week that ARPAS will be attending an EASA invitation-only workshop in Cologne on 5th July. In order to gather information to represent members as fully as possible, both at the workshop and in the consultation response, ARPAS-UK launched a members’ poll this week, which members should have received by direct email. I would like to personally thank all of you who have responded so far. If you haven’t responded as yet, please take the short time needed to complete the poll by Wednesday 28th June so that we can represent your needs better. Please contact if you haven’t received the poll by email.

A number of you have indicated that you would like to provide us with additional information. As a result, we have set up a thread on the Technical Forum for you to post further views: HERE

Events and Contacts

Closer to home last week, ARPAS-UK was invited by AOA, , to present at their annual Operations and Safety Conference to help raise awareness with airport operators about the growth and nature of the drone industry, and also to inform then about ARPAS-UK. In many ways AOA has a parallel structure and remit to ARPAS-UK, and with changing regulations, the development of UTM and the growth of the industry, it was an ideal time to make contact and strengthen relationships with airport operators. Sue Wolfe, the ARPAS Business Development Director, presented on behalf of ARPAS. The event was extremely worthwhile and has afforded some excellent contacts to work with in the future, not least AOA itself. The full conference report and ARPAS-UK presentation can be found HERE.

Have a successful week, everyone, and in the meantime, Fly Smart, Fly Safe.
Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK


19th June 2017

Last week in ARPAS-UK – People Power

Last week in ARPAS-UK held many excellent examples of how working together lends power to our elbow in many different ways.
Our corporate membership of and relationship with Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (UVSI) is beginning to pay dividends in terms of our profile and influence. UVSI is a trade association of trade associations – mainly in Europe.

As a result, it has a much more significant influence at the European regulatory table than any single trade association could have, especially one whose country is in the throes of Brexit. You might have seen last week that ARPAS will be attending the invitation-only EASA workshop in Cologne on 5th July to discuss EASA’s proposed European Regulations for Unmanned Aircraft (Drones). We’ll be sitting at the table with 10 or more other European trade associations representing a total, I would guess, of more than 1000 businesses. That gives us strength of influence. We’ll be feeding back the outcome of the workshop to you.

Also on the European theme, Matt Lee, our ARPAS Standards Director, presented at the 19th Annual UVSI conference on Wednesday in Brussels. Many European and national regulatory bodies were speaking and attending there, including EASA and JARUS, so ARPAS had an excellent audience and some first class networking opportunities. Matt will be providing more details soon.

Closer to home, I have some news of people changes for you. First of all, Andy Houston, who has been Chairman of our Legislation and Regulation Working Group (LRWG) since its inception, and who, with the Group contributed some sterling work on developing the regulatory strategy in our business plan, is now stepping down from that position, to be replaced by Michael Kheng. Many thanks to both Andy for all his work and to Michael for agreeing to take it forward. Andy will still be part of the group, and is staying on as Vice Chairman. The LRWG will continue to work closely with Jon Parker, the ARPAS Legislation and Regulation Director.

I’d also like you to welcome a new face to the ARPAS team, Elena Major. Elena will be working alongside Carey on membership, so you’re likely to be hearing more from her on any membership matters. Elena has a strong background working with people-based organisations so I’m very pleased she’ll be bringing her expertise to ARPAS.

Have a great week, everyone, and in the meantime, Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner
Chairman, ARPAS-UK

12th June 2017

Last week in ARPAS-UK – Regulation and Standards

Your Committee is continuing its focus on regulatory and standards issues at the moment.   A few weeks ago, EASA published its proposed European Regulations for Unmanned Aircraft (Drones) for consultation, and we made this widely available to members.

Last week, the CAA published notes on the consultation (HERE), which we disseminated to you, urging the importance of responding to the document.  I echo that – while ARPAS-UK will be submitting a response to EASA, I would recommend that all of you do the same.  A copy of the ARPAS response will be available ahead of the deadline of 12th August, around the end of July, should you wish to use that in your own replies.

From the ChairWe met with CAA again on Friday to discuss this and other issues, and we’ll be making information from that meeting available.  We believe that the new EASA regulations will have influence on us, but it is not yet clear how that will take effect.  We’ll continue to work closely with CAA on this, and interacting with EASA directly.

You’ll all know, I’m sure, that increasingly, key industries and organisations such as oil and gas, Network Rail and now, National Trust and Crown Estates are developing their own standards regarding drone operations.

I know there are questions that arise as a result of this, and ARPAS-UK is now beginning to engage with these organisations to clarify specific issues.  We’ll bring you information as soon we can and it’s approved – we published some of the outcomes of our early engagement with Network Rail last week, and this work is continuing.


I’ll be reporting back on some other issues next week, and in the meantime, Fly Smart, Fly Safe.

Perran Bonner

Chairman, ARPAS-UK

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