Fly Smart, Fly Safe

Report from the Chair

From the Chair image 1

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

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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