Evidence provided to the APPG GA Airspace Change inquiry
Following a request to provide evidence, we attended the All Party Parliamentary Group for General Aviation “APPG GA” inquiry into Airspace Change. The inquiry coincides with the October 2018 launch by Baroness Sugg, the Minister for Aviation, of a new UK Airspace Strategy Board. ARPAS-UK has been formally asked by the CAA and the DfT to be one of a number of groups that will contribute to to the Delivery Monitoring and Oversight role for Airspace Modernisation, the details of which will be published as part of the Aviation Strategy Green Paper, currently being worked on by Government.
Airspace in the UK is a national asset. The purpose of the UK Airspace Strategy Board is to determine how the various categories of Airspace in the UK can be better classified and allocated in the future. ARPAS UK’s overall message is that if all airspace users adopt conspicuity technology, it will enable all sectors of aviation to benefit. We are proposing Integration and not Segregation.
The APPG GA listened carefully to the evidence provided about the Drone sector and its benefits, as well as our request to not levy charges for airspace usage on our community in the near future. The APPG GA’s views will no doubt be taken into account in the formulation of the Aviation White Paper that is expected to be published by the middle of 2019.
by Regulation Director, Rupert Dent
Amy Johnson Deep Dive Workshop Challenge – Advancing Mobility Through Flight
ARPAS UK was invited by UK Research and Innovation to attend the “Amy Johnson Deep Dive Workshop Challenge” which set out to bring relevant industry participants together, to submit a bid to the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Wave 3 competition.
The objective is to win sector funding for academic research and industry lead technology demonstrations focussed on future aviation markets. With autonomously operated (as opposed to remotely piloted) UAVs, propulsion through electric power plants, the incorporation of artificial intelligence, remodelled airspace and anticipatory regulations, the Wave 3 funding will be in some respects a follow on from the BVLOS Pathfinder initiative.
ARPAS-UK has provided a letter of support for the initiative. We feel that if the bid is successful, it will benefit those of our members who may wish to become involved with providers of new technology, that will enable them to extend their service offering to include BVLOS distances as well as the transport of goods.
Drone IAG (Industry Action Group)
ARPAS-UK is delighted that the Drone IAG has asked us to be the conduit of information on their behalf. We have created a page under ‘Industry Information’, where all information will be posted. https://www.arpas.uk/industry-information/drone-iag/
For those that are unfamiliar with the Drone IAG, it is a focussed voluntary team drawn from UK industry, academia and government which is committed to ensuring that the UK retains its leadership in this emerging global sector, communicating its work to the wider industry and helping to realise PwC predictions.
ANO Order 2018
As many of you know The Air Navigation (Amendment) Order 2018 was published on 30th May. It amends the Air Navigation Order 2016 and deals with four essential aspects: airport proximity values, a ceiling of 400ft for all UAS flights, registration of the UAS Operator and pilot competency.
Whilst these changes have been well flagged over the last six months or so, the one area where we feel more work may be required, is with regards to the airport boundary 1km proximity value. We have attached an Explanatory Note of the changes that are being made that is very helpful.
We will be looking in more detail about what the changes mean for our membership and will be commenting on this again soon.
Please look in the Technical Forum for the Legislation Document & Explanatory Note.
Rupert Dent, Legislation Director
BSI are delighted to let you know that Draft BS 9122 Qualification and approval of UAS operatives – UAS Pilot Level 1 is now available as a Draft for Public Comment.
You can access the draft using the following link https://
Deadline for comments is 11.08.2018. After this date, the drafting Panel along with the BSI Editorial Project Manager will review all comments. The standard is expected to be published in October 2018
ARPAS-UK would like to thank Matt Lee, who was Standards Director for 2017-18, for all his time and energy that has gone into this. Simon Ritterband has also been instrumental in the process. These documents are an immense task to pull together and we appreciate all their support for the UAV industry.
One of our members, Solomon N’Jie from Sol Management Services, has shown key interest in developing UAV standards for the UAV event industry. On behalf of our members, the Standards Director will be bringing this matter up at the next BSI meeting so that an appropriate and measured approach can be taken to improve safety and confidence in this sector. Thanks goes out to Sol for his initiative, and we hope to be able to make some progress over the coming months
James Dunthorne, Standards Director
Goodbye and Thank you.
The Association would like to thank Vice-Chair Matt Harmsworth for his nearly four years of voluntary work on behalf of our Members. Matt has decided to step down for personal reasons as Vice-Chair as of 1st July 2018.
Matt first became involved as the PR & Marketing Director before becoming Vice Chair. He has been the Voice of Reason, full of common sense, good humour, enthuasiasm and support for the Members, the Association and the Industry. We will miss him and wish him all the very best for the future. The good news is that although Matt is stepping down as Director, he’s not leaving the Association!
In his letter, Matt finishes with “So whilst it is goodbye from me as Vice Chairman, I urge you all to give whatever you can. With the ANO changes and EASA around the corner, we have never needed a Trade Association more.”
Gain ARPAS-UK support when applying for an ISCF Grant
This month a member approached us to facilitate ARPAS-UK support for a consortium that they are involved in. The “Connected Communities” consortium is led by Ocado and it is an Expression of Interest for the Wave 3 of the ISCF.
Great initiative, this is a win-win! The consortium is eager to demonstrate the support by a wide array of stakeholders. ARPAS is eager to support initiatives that include the safe use of drones and could pave the way for funding.
CAA and Project Chatham
ARPAS-UK was one of a number of stakeholders consulted as part of Project Chatham, which seeks to establish a state assured source for information about airspace restrictions for Drone Operators.
We will report back in due course regarding the output from Project Chatham, including how the data will be made publicly available.
Rupert Dent, Legislation Director
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:-
- Membership Director following the resignation last week of Bryan Stanislas, and
- 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:
- HS2 Invite ARPAS-UK Members to meet the Contractors
- RAF Air Commodore tells Reaper Drone Pilots to “Be as professional as you can be.”‘
- ‘Send in the drones’ to protect soil
If you’re flying this week, take care and Fly Smart, Fly Safe
I would like to welcome all readers to what is my first blog.
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.
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.Thanks for reading.
If you’re flying this week, take care and Fly Smart, Fly Safe
1st March 2018
Meet our new CEO – Graham Brown
We are delighted to welcome Graham Brown on board as our new CEO. Graham brings a wealth of experience and expertise from a variety of sectors, and senior executive roles.
The ARPAS-UK Committee listened to their Members, deliberated and concluded that a CEO would indeed be of great benefit to the Association. There was great interest in the role, from both within the Association and externally, and the Committee are extremely pleased with their choice.
Graham has served as a director of a wide range of international and British businesses in the technology, manufacturing, services, e-retail and financial services sectors. His breadth of experience includes business development, marketing, acquisitions, turnaround as well as fund raising and investment in the UK, Europe, North America and Asia Pacific markets.
Graham’s most recent role was as Group CEO of an aluminium powder coating business where he continues part time as non-executive Chairman and as Vice-Chairman of Qualicoat, the industry standards organisation. Earlier in his career Graham was CEO of an FCA authorised and regulated financial services firm and member of the London Stock Exchange.
Growing up in the Middle East, Graham has lived in Germany, Singapore and the USA. Graham read Applied Psychology for a BSc (Tech) Hons at the University of Wales, Cardiff.