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New Drone Laws from 30/5/2018

Read and weep for aeromodelling

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cymaz13/06/2018 05:54:48
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Posted by Peter Jenkins on 13/06/2018 00:22:32:

Posted by Erfolg on 12/06/2018 22:01:22:

Again the BMFA could be publicly, say something, even if it is to say, they are working with the CAA or whoever on both issues. Perhaps some pointers as to what could be registered, the point of registration, or what content within the test could be envisaged.

There is a lot issues i am sure the BMFA could enlighten its membership, rather than a cliff edge appearing, where clubs and members

Erfolg, and others who may believe that the BMFA has been silent on this, have you chosen to register on the BMFA website for their News bulletins? Take a look at this one which was posted on the 30th May 2018 and which sets out what the BMFA is doing right now. If you scroll down to the News posted on 8th Feb 2018 you will also find a summary of where we are and how we arrived there.

****Well, we model fliers had best not miss the consultation period****

Gary Manuel13/06/2018 09:47:35
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Posted by Peter Jenkins on 13/06/2018 00:22:32:

Erfolg, and others who may believe that the BMFA has been silent on this, have you chosen to register on the BMFA website for their News bulletins? Take a look at this one which was posted on the 30th May 2018 and which sets out what the BMFA is doing right now. If you scroll down to the News posted on 8th Feb 2018 you will also find a summary of where we are and how we arrived there.

With reference to the 8th Feb 2018 news, and particularly to models operating within "designated zones" or "the specific category":

This gives a mechanism for increasing the altitude limit, but requires the "zones" to be designated and for some eventual demonstration of competency by club flyers. This sounds great, but there is not much time left for the 400ft altitude limit to be resolved before it becomes law on 30th July 2018. You say that the BMFA are doing something about this right now - hopefully this means right now.

Edited By Gary Manuel on 13/06/2018 09:49:30

MattyB13/06/2018 10:03:05
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Posted by Peter Jenkins on 13/06/2018 00:22:32:
Posted by Erfolg on 12/06/2018 22:01:22:

Again the BMFA could be publicly, say something, even if it is to say, they are working with the CAA or whoever on both issues. Perhaps some pointers as to what could be registered, the point of registration, or what content within the test could be envisaged.

There is a lot issues i am sure the BMFA could enlighten its membership, rather than a cliff edge appearing, where clubs and members wonder what they should and can do.

Erfolg, and others who may believe that the BMFA has been silent on this, have you chosen to register on the BMFA website for their News bulletins? Take a look at this one which was posted on the 30th May 2018 and which sets out what the BMFA is doing right now. If you scroll down to the News posted on 8th Feb 2018 you will also find a summary of where we are and how we arrived there.

I don't think anyone is accusing the BMFA of being silent on this matter, but Erfolg is right that the level of detail provided in the updates has been pretty low. BMFA opinions on potential/likely outcomes have not generally been provided, and there have been no concerted efforts to mobilise the membership at key points such as the EASA consultation. I understand that the DfT have specifically requested no details of their negotiations be shared in the public domain at this point, so that explains the minimal detail in the most recent update.

Ultimately model flyers will judge success or failure based on the outcome not the process. If the BMFA negotiate a reasonable deal with the CAA and DfT that preserves al our existing access then the comms strategy will never be discussed again. However if the outcome is less optimal it is reasonable that members question whether the correct approach was taken. I personally would have liked to have seen the members mobilised to a greater extent via social media, email and post from the BMFA to get them to write to MPs, respond to the EASA and DfT consultations etc. in much greater volumes.

Edited By MattyB on 13/06/2018 10:05:39

Cuban813/06/2018 11:06:53
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Last paragraph page 6 **LINK**

 

Edited By Cuban8 on 13/06/2018 11:08:22

Erfolg13/06/2018 11:20:50
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Czmas

I do now remember reading that specific news item.

I think that part of the problem that many of us have, is the use of the word drone. Although I now accept that it probably means us, fixed wing etc. model fliers. There has been the question mark if the BMFA accepts that it means us, or stated in a strong manner that it does, and any news item should be read in that context.

With respect to what I call recreational quads, my present club has increasing issues with them. We have now had 3 now fly across our field, at low level. The operator has not been observed in any occasion, the quad disappearing into the distance as quick it has appeared. The first has been made known to the BMFA, the club continues to try to ascertain who is flying the model or models, how, and from where. It does appear that the 400 foot issue is not the only issue with respect to quads.

MattyB13/06/2018 11:41:49
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Posted by Cuban8 on 13/06/2018 11:06:53:

Last paragraph page 6 **LINK**

Yes, I know the BMFA mentioned the consultation in a couple of news articles but I was talking about a much larger and more concerted campaign to raise awareness and have members make their voices heard directly - email and physical mailshots to Club Secs and country members with a call to action and suggested next steps, big splashes on social media and the website, proactive engagement of the press etc. This is probably the most important issue to face aeromodelling in it's history, yet only a few hundred people across Europe responded to the EASA consultation (sorry, I am not sure about response rates to the DfT one). Higher response rates might have helped convince regulators that there was something to lose if the new regs became onerous for existing model flyers.

Edited By MattyB on 13/06/2018 11:45:02

john stones 113/06/2018 12:39:07
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Posted by Ray Dunn on 13/06/2018 00:51:53:
Posted by john stones 1 on 12/06/2018 22:05:51:

Where is this Cliff edge ? I'd like to jump off it. crook

I once successfully tried jumping off on the southern end of the Malverns and can't recommend it!

My wife and I wended our way up what appeared to be a sheep track to the ridgeway track, which then ran between the tops of two quarry faces. One quarry was very large and a sheer 700 feet or so the other not quite so imposing.

At this point our day was ruined, when I rediscovered my vertigo and jumped off... the horse that I was riding at the time.☺ So now I have to choose my slope soaring sites carefully.

Yes perhaps we need some humour to lighten up this subject.

Struggling with my humour on this one Ray, same things keep being repeated, our own association is getting attacked for I don't know what ? find it hard to follow some people thinking on this one. **LINK**

Steve J13/06/2018 12:41:58
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Posted by MattyB on 13/06/2018 11:41:49:

yet only a few hundred people across Europe responded to the EASA consultation (sorry, I am not sure about response rates to the DfT one).

NPA 2017-07, comments from 215 stakeholders of which 13% were individual model aircraft pilots and 6% were model flying associations.

DfT consultation, 213 people who flew model aircraft responded.

Steve

MattyB13/06/2018 14:22:02
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Posted by john stones 1 on 13/06/2018 12:39:07:

Struggling with my humour on this one Ray, same things keep being repeated, our own association is getting attacked for I don't know what ? find it hard to follow some people thinking on this one. **LINK**

I don't think anyone is attacking the BMFA at this point, just gently questioning their strategy to play their cards so close to their chest. We will find out whether that was correct when the final outcomes and the implications for club and country members becomes clear within a month or so.

john stones 113/06/2018 14:36:36
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Easy enough to ask the question of the BMFA Matty, keep repeating the same stuff on here achieves nothing, I also think the NFC has nowt to do with how the BMFA approaches this, nor will it lessen the effort they put into it, quite the opposite is my belief, BMFA needs best result it can get, not only for our well being but its own. Whatever the final outcome I'll continue to believe the BMFA did the best it could with the limited hand it had to play. Our own well known apathy may turn out to be our biggest failing ?

Martin Harris13/06/2018 14:54:03
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I'll second that, John. The BMFA has committed considerable resource in engaging with EASA and our domestic organisations. The NFC may have attracted a great deal of interest, both positive and negative and is being run by staff whose responsibilities are primarily for day to day running of the operational side of model flying - much of which's related work can of course be undertaken from the onsite offices.

I would like to think that the organisation has sufficient resources to address more than a single issue or activity efficiently...and it could easily be argued that the existence of the NFC adds some credibility to the BMFA as a national representative body. Perhaps it is divisive, at a time where we need to pull together, for some to continue to labour the view that it is a white elephant because it is not easily accessible for all of the membership. I'm content to give it a few years to prove its worth before pronouncing it a success or failure.

Edited By Martin Harris on 13/06/2018 14:54:57

Steve J13/06/2018 15:14:38
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The BMFA have a club support officer. Sound chap by all accounts. He is active on this forum. This 400ft business is a big thing for a lot of clubs. Has he been active on this topic soothing the waters and offering advice? No, his latest post concerns a swapmeet at the the NFC.

Steve

Colin Leighfield13/06/2018 15:19:47
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Like everyone else I am concerned about this and thanks to all of the forumites who have gone to the trouble to contribute their thoughts and advice, generally much better informed than I am on this complex subject. I do have a lot of confidence in the competence of BMFA and understand that it isn’t helpful or sensible to expect them to provide a running commentary on developing and unpredictable scenarios, they need to be free to deal with events and make well-informed decisions without being excessively distracted in the process.

However if I could make a personal observation, do we need to pay more attention to the real game-changer here, which is FPV? That combined with rapidly advancing multi rotor technology has introduced a new dimension in the form of many people that are fascinated by the opportunity to control a flying object over a distance only limited by its range. They are not generally aeromodellers or aviation enthusiasts and although there is obviously an element of interest in FPV within our existing clubs, overall this is quite different. Traditionally our line of sight radio control enables us to enjoy watching a plane in its element and under our direction. It might be aerobatic, sports or scale but watching it is a considerable part of the pleasure. With FPV the nature of the machine is immaterial beyond its function, what it looks like in the air is of no importance at all. It is all about that function. However it enables the operator to simulate his or her presence within a flying machine under total control and with an operating range that is orders of magnitude beyond that which we associate with line of sight pleasure flying.

What is needed here is strict regulation and control of FPV, with compulsory licensing. It gives a level of power and choice to its users that has enormous ability to intrude on and interfere with other people’s lives and activities without any consent or control on their part. That cannot be acceptable. Also with the looming and massive increase in use of low level air space for commercial purposes, including autonomous multi rotor passenger vehicles, the accident risks are obvious, apart from considerations of terrorism.

Line of sight flying naturally limits us to a defined area of operation. There is little need to regulate this beyond the operating height consideration, clearly separating line of sight and FPV in both operational terms and legal interpretation must be the best way to protect our traditional interests. That seems obvious to me, although it is of course only my opinion.

john stones 113/06/2018 15:41:30
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Club support officer Andy Symons, he's big enough n old enough to make his own mind up, coming on here to sooth the waters and offering advice seems a pretty forlorn task to me, but just my opinion. Last post on our club forum was about the Chippy night meeting, mention the new regs to members n you get blank looks and they've been bombarded with all the info/updates, apathy reigns supreme, but when it comes in no doubt some will vent their spleen and apportion blame, me I'll adapt n if it means pushing some paper or organising to get exemptions, that's what we'll do.

MattyB13/06/2018 16:49:07
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Posted by Martin Harris on 13/06/2018 14:54:03:

I'll second that, John. The BMFA has committed considerable resource in engaging with EASA and our domestic organisations. The NFC may have attracted a great deal of interest, both positive and negative and is being run by staff whose responsibilities are primarily for day to day running of the operational side of model flying - much of which's related work can of course be undertaken from the onsite offices.

I would like to think that the organisation has sufficient resources to address more than a single issue or activity efficiently...and it could easily be argued that the existence of the NFC adds some credibility to the BMFA as a national representative body.

Whilst I am not a fan of the NFC or how it came to be I agree it is unlikely to have had any negative effect on the negotiations with the CAA, DfT and EASA. However the idea that it lends us any credibility in the negotiations is untenable - those championing this legislation are trumpeting potential benefits of tens of billions in GDP and thousands of jobs, so the fact the BMFA lease a large field and some outbuildings is not going to wow them round to our point of view.

Edited By MattyB on 13/06/2018 16:52:24

Keith Lomax13/06/2018 18:52:54
180 forum posts

Posted by Erfolg on 13/06/2018 11:20:50:

I think that part of the problem that many of us have, is the use of the word drone. Although I now accept that it probably means us, fixed wing etc. model fliers. There has been the question mark if the BMFA accepts that it means us, or stated in a strong manner that it does, and any news item should be read in that context.

As I understand it, we don't need to define "drone". The CAA refer to "Small Unmanned Aircraft", which includes all that we fly including multirotors - and also kites!

BMFA has always supported all forms of model aircraft. When we accused of being anti-drone a few years ago, the issue was not the type of aircraft but the fact that FPV models (mostly but not exclusively quadcopters) were being flown outside of visual line of sight and sometimes without a competent observer. This was not supported purely on the issues of safety and legality.

Erfolg14/06/2018 10:40:54
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Keith

In the context of most press releases and reports in the media, the word drone is used without any definition. Indeed many of us fixed wing fliers have used the word drone as a differentiator between Quads and other types of model aircraft. On this basis many of the published information has been interpreted by the aeromodellers as not applying to us, as drone etc has been used in the text.

With respect to quads, multi rotors, the club where I am a member has been used as a venue for both multi rotor training and as a multi rotor race venue. The club cannot be seen as opposed to quads (what ever the preferred term is). Even so, there is concern that this type of device is being operated around and across our site in breach of the existing ANO, not withstanding the height and proximity issues. This type of model continues to be operated inappropriately by many, the BMFA has a lot of work to do here.

I do think that for many the BMFA will only be seen as having failed with respect to the forth coming changes. The reason being that at the beginning of the process the BMFA was optimistic in its portrayal of how we would remain substantially unchanged in the way we operate. However successful Dave Phipps and his team will be in limiting the scope and extent of the legislation, it will be seen as a long way from the initial position.

It may be to late now to enter into a more proactive programme of PR and support for our Dave Phipps team. IMO this is a serious threat not only to the long term viability of modeling, the threat could well be in the short term.

Devcon114/06/2018 10:50:00
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Not new news particularly but a small further example of the progress being made by commercial operators that underpin the changing airspace landscape..

**LINK**

No doubt flyers in Iceland are aware of this and have been consulted..

Cuban814/06/2018 11:23:46
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I received a letter from my MP, Will Quince this morning, in response to my email sent last week. He agrees with my (our) concerns and has raised those concerns with Chris Grayling MP, the Secretary for Transport and will write to me again once he has received a response.

Mark Woodroffe14/06/2018 12:25:35
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Will registration require you to tell what make and model? Or will just be the pilot registering.

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