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Clubs as Operators?

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Chris Balmforth22/10/2019 13:45:02
6 forum posts

It's my club's AGM on Thursday and I just KNOW we will be asked this question: under the newly revised CAA regulations would it be possible for members of a flying club to donate aircraft to the club, and the club to register as operator of them all with just one operator ID? On the surface this is no different to a commercial enterprise acting as operator.

DDH22/10/2019 14:09:02
35 forum posts
2 photos

The best advice I have had is to wait until all the stuff becomes law and advice from the BMFA has been published.

Where further and better particulars/clarifications are subsequently required then advice should be sought directly from the BMFA.

Individuals or clubs embarking on 'frolics of their own' could result in attracting unforeseen and unwanted liability - .Ignorantia juris non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat !!

stu knowles22/10/2019 15:02:34
601 forum posts
49 photos

Agreed, too early to be deciding anything. Give it 6 months

Steve J22/10/2019 15:10:31
1841 forum posts
53 photos

Chris, The most recent statement from the CAA on this subject that I am aware of is in the evidence that they gave to the Commons STC enquiry in July.

"Under the relevant UK legislation, the Air Navigation Order 2016, an ‘operator’ is defined as the person who has management of the drone or model aircraft being flown. In practice, the majority of model aircraft association members own, maintain and control (i.e. determine when, where and by whom the model aircraft is flown) one or more model aircraft. This means that members of model aircraft associations are demonstrating operator responsibilities, and they would therefore be required to register individually."

SIMON CRAGG22/10/2019 16:08:15
561 forum posts
5 photos
Posted by stu knowles on 22/10/2019 15:02:34:

Agreed, too early to be deciding anything. Give it 6 months

We are doing absolutely nothing this year. Let the BMFA have time to fine tune it, and then let us know what to do. Pointless pontificating over the subject as will make no difference"!.

gangster22/10/2019 16:35:34
1010 forum posts
17 photos

The BMFA have worked hard on this. They probably have not been helped by those interfering, raising petitions etc. The last thing we need now is a bunch of bar room lawyers pulling stunts that prove to the authorities that we are not the responsible bunch of beings that we claim to be

Chris Balmforth22/10/2019 16:45:44
6 forum posts

Thanks Steve J, that's helpful information.

PeterF22/10/2019 17:51:34
525 forum posts
724 photos

Additionally, for a club to register it may need to be a legal entity, I.e. formed as a limited company, and most clubs are not limited companies. Those that are tend to be those who own or formally lease their land. If a club that is not limited registers then it is likely that the committee member who completes the registration is in fact the responsible party.

Wingman22/10/2019 18:53:48
1145 forum posts
405 photos

It would be wrong to put volunteer committee members in the way of legal liability and it would be stupid of them to agree to it. Don't forget that the police can turn up at your field and issue a spot fine of £100 to the Operator (ie the committee) if they find a transgression of the regulations.

Chris Berry22/10/2019 19:03:22
254 forum posts
1 photos

Not sure a club needs to do anything?

members join BMFA for example and pay the £9 extra, job done, that’s the end of it.

Chris Balmforth22/10/2019 19:09:04
6 forum posts

I'm not proposing that any club takes such a reckless course of action, I merely wanted an informed reply when I am asked the question at our AGM! Steve J gave me a perfect answer.

Edited By Chris Balmforth on 22/10/2019 19:09:41

MattyB22/10/2019 19:42:09
2029 forum posts
31 photos
Posted by Chris Berry on 22/10/2019 19:03:22:

Not sure a club needs to do anything?

members join BMFA for example and pay the £9 extra, job done, that’s the end of it.

This club (I am a member of it too) is not BMFA affiliated and not all members are in the BMFA, so it is not that simple. We also have to think about the distance and uninvolved people clauses under category A3, but without an understanding of the final exception the BMFA may secure it is difficult for us to know what best to do at this point for the members and committee alike.

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