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The Gov't, CAA, BMFA & UAV legislation thread

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Peter Christy29/11/2019 17:39:00
1724 forum posts

PS: The big difference between registering via the BMFA and via the CAA is that the BMFA asks if your aircraft carries a camera or not.

This may be a useful statistic to have in the not too distant future.

The BMFA have been working overtime on this for a long period, and whilst I agree that we were lucky with the change of Secretary of State, being prepared when that happened was no accident of fortune.

For heaven's sake, stop knocking the BMFA. It may not be a perfect organisation. Nothing made by man is. But none of the other organisations could have done what the BMFA has managed to achieve, and with a very limited budget and manpower.



Martin Harris29/11/2019 19:24:58
9168 forum posts
229 photos

The majority of our members pay club fees and BMFA either at the AGM once fees are confirmed or to our membership secretary. That way we keep a handle on not only who has renewed but also who has refoined the BMFA. We're making it optional for registration through him but the expectation is that the majority of members will opt to pay all three elements in a single transaction. He will then only have a few members statuses to check during the New Year rather than checking individually.

Neil R29/11/2019 21:47:27
23 forum posts

I've just received the renewal e-mail from the BMFA. They must like me smiley because I've actually received 25 copies (!) of exactly the same e-mail. Is anyone else getting this?

Philip Lewis 329/11/2019 21:59:24
51 forum posts

They're selling you short, I also got another batch so about 40 in all!

Still shift delete is a great feature smiley

Andy Symons - BMFA29/11/2019 22:02:50
611 forum posts
1 photos

Apologies for the multiple emails minor technical glitch. The techies are on it.

At least nobody can say we dont communicate.

G194029/11/2019 22:04:19
3523 forum posts
1 photos

You're favoured - I only got 2!

I've already paid my BMFA subs through the club. Our AGM was a bit early this year because the sec was going to be visiting his son in Australia when we normally have it and, as usual I wrote a cheque (just about the only one I write each year) to pay both the club subs and the BMFA membership fee. I'm just wondering how I'll pay the additional £9 and get my magic get out of jail free number for my models.

I suppose it will work out.


John Bisset29/11/2019 22:10:18
208 forum posts

Oops - nice comment Andy!

I got around ten repeats I think, all within seconds of each other.

Nigel Heather30/11/2019 07:39:41
239 forum posts
7 photos

Was at my club’s AGM on Thursday and the extent of the concerns clicked into place.

At 56 I realised that I was in the youngest 25% of the attendees. It was clear that many of the attendees who have each year handed over a cheque for combined club and BMFA fees were now dumfounded.

The club has concluded that they cannot take the BMFA fees, because they do not believe they can give the BMFA permission to hand over our details to the CAA - not convinced that is true but I accept that GDPR can be a bit of a minefield and can understand that they don’t want to take the risk.

So the attendees were told the difference between Pilot and Operator IDs, that they must renew their BMFA membership buy going onto the BMFA portal, which is a different website to the BMFA website, but there is a link from it. But they will need to create an account on the BMFA website first if they don’t already have one. And they need to take a test which they can do on the BMFA site or the CAA site, unless they hold an A or B certificate in which case they don’t need to. And they will need to download competence and exemption certificates and print them out or store them in their smart phones. And they will need to print out their BMFA membership card unless they spend an extra £3.50 for a plastic card - but the plastic card will allow them to create an account on the BMFA partner reward site where they will be able to order vouchers or top-up cards online which they can use for discounts in many high-street shops.

All made perfect sense to me, but looking around at the reactions in the room it may equally have been said in Swahili.






Edited By Nigel Heather on 30/11/2019 07:40:33

Edited By Nigel Heather on 30/11/2019 07:41:02

Edited By Nigel Heather on 30/11/2019 07:42:13

Edited By Nigel Heather on 30/11/2019 07:45:13

Andy Symons - BMFA30/11/2019 07:48:26
611 forum posts
1 photos

I have done a number of talks just recentl at clubs and explained the background to it all, how we got to where we are and what the very simple processes are. Easily explained and everyone has understood whats what.

The process on the portal is a complete doddle too.

Even the informed consent is no biggie, just ensure members are aware of the CAA privacy policy, its being reproduced in the magazine which goes to print on Monday too.

A few mountains being made out of molehills I think.

Ron Gray30/11/2019 07:50:53
1701 forum posts
474 photos

At our AGM last Monday we had exactly the same reaction from a lot of members, confusion due to having to make a choice! We decided to bring along some iPads / tablets to the next meeting and talk people through things on the screen.

Nigel Heather30/11/2019 08:18:41
239 forum posts
7 photos
Posted by Andy Symons - BMFA on 30/11/2019 07:48:26:

I have done a number of talks just recentl at clubs and explained the background to it all, how we got to where we are and what the very simple processes are. Easily explained and everyone has understood whats what.

The process on the portal is a complete doddle too.

Even the informed consent is no biggie, just ensure members are aware of the CAA privacy policy, its being reproduced in the magazine which goes to print on Monday too.

A few mountains being made out of molehills I think.

It is easy to say things are a doddle if you understand them. I’m sure I could tell you things about my job and education that I think are a doddle but you would struggle to grasp, and I’m sure you can do the same.

My wife is a maths teacher and she is often telling me stories about some classes and students that simply can’t grasp principles that we would all think are obvious.

The problem I saw was a bunch a people over the age of 65, who don’t have a computer or have barely used one being told to create an account on the BMFA website, login to the portal, do an online test and renew their BMFA membership. Seriously, you may have been talking a different language to some of these guys.

It is easy for us who understand it and say “it’s easy, I don’t see what the problem is” but to a degree it shows that we can’t emphasise with those who just see something alien and incomprehensible.

Personally it frustrates me that I have to get my chequebook out to pay the subs, but I appreciate that is what the club and most of its members are familiar and comfortable with. True story, when writing the cheque, I looked at the last entry in the stub and it was my club membership last year. Basically, my bank has to go to the expense to provide me with a cheque book solely for the purpose of paying my club fees once a year.



Frank Skilbeck30/11/2019 08:25:11
4607 forum posts
101 photos

Nigel, re cheque book, but that maybe the clubs bank, our bank resisted us having online banking facilities for ages, so we were stuck with cash and cheques.

Ron Gray30/11/2019 08:36:40
1701 forum posts
474 photos

@Nigel - you are spot on there, those who are not used to it find it very hard to understand and more choice leads to further confusion.

Tim Flyer30/11/2019 08:38:31
1220 forum posts
231 photos

Clubs’ banks can be a complete pain . I recently became treasurer at our club in October and Nat West Bank have been awful. We visited a local branch to have me added as signatory on 23rd October and spent some time going through all the details to make sure they had all the information. A month later it is still not been done . I launched the bank complaint process too but they say they do not have enough staff to deal with that either!!! I even visited their head office to try to get it to move on . That still did not work! We are having to get our members to renew direct with BMFA as or previous Treasurer had to move away. I must admit that I’m totally shocked how slow Nat West moves . We will have to do our club fee renewal once Nat West finally get their job done. 

As said above having to renew directly causes some of our less computer savvy members great difficulty but we are having to do that or accept cash from those who have no computer access. 

Edited By Tim Flyer on 30/11/2019 08:44:17

Edited By Tim Flyer on 30/11/2019 08:47:54

PeterF30/11/2019 08:52:36
489 forum posts
675 photos

I updated our renewal form to have a yes / no choice for CAA registration and an extra note saying "by choosing yes to CAA registration I agree to the club sharing by info with CAA and agree to the CAA privacy policy". I believe that covers it and most members are paying registration through the club so everything remains easy for them to handle. One thing that has made things easier is we have always required an A cert to fly solo, so only the newest members have had to take one of the tests.

Steve J30/11/2019 08:53:59
1774 forum posts
51 photos
Posted by Ron Gray on 30/11/2019 07:50:53:

At our AGM last Monday we had exactly the same reaction from a lot of members, confusion due to having to make a choice!

Are you telling me that they hadn't used the BMFA flowchart to determine exactly what they needed to do? I'm shocked!

Peter Christy30/11/2019 09:22:32
1724 forum posts

In my recent experience, most of the nervousness suffered by members about the renewal system evaporates as soon as they try it.

I will be turning 70 early next year, and in at least two of the clubs I belong to, that makes me one of the youngest members! Nonetheless, at the two recent AGMs I have attended, once the procedure was explained - carefully and slowly - everyone was happy. At the club at which I'm chairman (admittedly a very small one), I hooked a laptop up to a large screen and demonstrated the processes involved. The very next day, one member (who is older than me, and a self professed technophobe) took the BMFA Competency test and passed. He doesn't have a computer or an email, so he had to use his wife's, but he still managed it with no difficulty.

It is simply fear of the unknown.

Once you try it, you will find it is easier than you expect. And even for those of us who are of advancing years, it is mental challenges that keep the mind alive!

If you can master a modern computer radio - even at a basic level - then the registration processes should hold no terrors!

Keep calm and carry on!



ken anderson.30/11/2019 09:30:49
8556 forum posts
776 photos

i think threads like this with all the different thoughts and opinions will be confusing to some people. There appears to be a lot of analysis and going through things with a fine tooth comb.

the flow chart that was posted by A Symons seemed pretty much self explanatory to my mind and apart from individual club preferences that all there is to it at the moment.

maybe Andy could set away a thread with the process from A to B and leave it at that without confusing views getting posted on it...….maybe keep posting individual thoughts and comments on thoughts anyway.

ken thoughts dept.

Scott Edwards 230/11/2019 09:43:21
197 forum posts
96 photos

As Nigel says, there are many of our brethren for whom the phrases 'Portal', 'Login', 'link', 'upload' and even 'smartphone' mean absolutely nothing.

But ...

As a club admin, you can do it all for them. Take the test in their name (there is no validation at all) and upload the certificate to their BMFA Achievements. Then just tell them to pay an extra £9.

The BMFA say members must tick a permission box on a form for GDPR purposes. Do club Secretaries therefore have to keep the forms forever as proof in case the Police knock on the door in 20 years ? Bonkers.

The whole thing is ridiculous, and I for one will treat it with the contempt it deserves, and use every loophole available to enable our members to comply with the law.

Cuban830/11/2019 09:44:20
2867 forum posts
1 photos

My club collects is subs more and more via bank transfers, I suppose last year about a quarter of members paid that way. No problem with that at all and our club bank account works fine. Most still pay by cheque at the AGM or via post and slightly fewer prefer to pay by good old cash.. I have to say that renewals are markedly slower this year, I am concerned. We've had an on-going drop of 5% in the membership for the last five years - got a bad feeling about this year. The heady days of 140+ members is long gone, we'll be lucky to keep to 95 this year. My other club mirrors this as well.

Edited By Cuban8 on 30/11/2019 09:47:34

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