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BMFA Update - Article 16 Authorisation

27th Nov update

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MattyB28/11/2020 00:25:30
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The BMFA have today (27th Nov 2020) updated their site with this news article. I have to admit I am worried that this has not all been finalised by now, and that no mention is made of the distance to uninvolved persons clauses and future requirements for remote ID under some classes of operation...

"We had hoped to provide a full update on the terms of our Article 16 Authorisation, which will define the future operating parameters for members when the European Regulations for unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) come into effect on the 31st December 2020. However, we are still thrashing out the final details with the CAA so will miss the print deadline for this issue of BMFA NEWS unfortunately. We will of course communicate details to members through all available channels (including a webinar) once we have the final draft.

Our Article 16 Authorisation will replace all current exemptions and permissions which will be incorporated into a single document. The key existing permission to operate above 400ft with models of less than 7Kg will be retained, but the weight limit will be increased to 7.5Kg.

Requirements for CAA Operator registration and evidence of competency will also be retained but will be satisfied by the existing measures which we agreed at the end of 2019. BMFA Members will be able to continue obtaining Operator Registration via the BMFA membership process and their achievements will continue to be accepted as evidence of competency.

Anyone who is operating an unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) who is not a member of one of the UK four CAA recognised model flying associations will have to operate within the terms of the ‘Open Category’, details of which are published in the latest issue of CAP722 (see **LINK**)"

Edited By MattyB on 28/11/2020 00:26:26

Gary Manuel28/11/2020 01:03:14
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Can anyone explain what this means to model fliers in simple language, without referring to the 238 pages of waffle in the BMFA link?

Former Member28/11/2020 08:17:05
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Dickw28/11/2020 11:01:44
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Posted by Gary Manuel on 28/11/2020 01:03:14:

Can anyone explain what this means to model fliers in simple language, without referring to the 238 pages of waffle in the BMFA link?

I think all you need to read is the section on the "Open Category", not all 328 pages.

Perhaps those who are not in the BMFA, SAA, LMA, or FPV UK need to form an association to read, analyse, and disseminate the relevant information to it's members. .

As a BMFA member I just need to wait for our Article 16 Authorisation.

Dick

Martin_K28/11/2020 11:07:47
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Dick just beat me to it. At the moment, no simplified version. Unless / until the BMFA can present a 'deal' for our benefit, reference to the regulations is the starting point.

See;

B1.6 page 186 Model Aircraft Associations

D1.16 page 209 Article 16 – UAS operations in the framework of model aircraft clubs and associations

Gary Manuel28/11/2020 11:19:55
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I'm in the BMFA. No idea what article 16 even refers to (what are articles 1 to 15?). I was hoping to pay my BMFA fees plus £9 registration tax, remove old labels Frome models, stick new ones on and carry on flying. Is there more to it than this?

I'll have a read of page 186 and 209 thanks.

Gary Manuel28/11/2020 11:31:46
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I've read that. I now know what article 15 is. So we are just waiting for BMFA/CAA to agree what restrictions will apply to clubs from 1st January. Hopefully none.

Eric Robson28/11/2020 11:34:00
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It makes me yearn for the days when life was simple and common sense was king, when people were in gainful employment, not sitting gazing into screens thinking of ways to create more largely pointless rules. On Thursday I spent 15 mins on line to hmgov.org trying to pay my tax when the screen went blank, I then phoned up and talked to a robot for 20 mins. before being put through to an operator. On telling her I wanted to pay my tax she said I will put you through to the automated pay system before I had the chance to tell her I did not have the 10 digit number required. Fortunately my Grandson who is as financial adviser sorted it out for me.

Andy Symons - BMFA28/11/2020 12:05:44
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Posted by Gary Manuel on 28/11/2020 11:19:55:

Is there more to it than this?

Very little more to it.

ken anderson.28/11/2020 13:36:05
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hello Andy, could you add a little meat to the bone of "very little more to it"?....is it worth waiting for the shipment of balsa that's on its way to the UK? ...i realise that some will hang on every word you say etc...

ken anderson...ne..1...bone dept.

Andy Symons - BMFA28/11/2020 14:02:04
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Posted by ken anderson. on 28/11/2020 13:36:05:

hello Andy, could you add a little meat to the bone of "very little more to it"?....is it worth waiting for the shipment of balsa that's on its way to the UK? ...i realise that some will hang on every word you say etc...

ken anderson...ne..1...bone dept.

It is not my place to go in to details on the Article 16 authorisation, the bulk of it has been sorted and there is just a few details left to finalise. Essentially we should be operating pretty much as we always have and the doom-mongers and pessimists will be proven wrong. (again)

Get your balsa, kits and radio gear ordered and lets look forward with positivity to 2021 and a return to some semblance of normality.

ken anderson.28/11/2020 14:07:43
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many thanks for the reply andy..that's enough meat on the bone for me...I agree with you re "the doom- mongers and pessimists"..... all the best to you and your family from me.

ken anderson ...ne..1...doom mongers and pessimists dept.

David Ashby - Moderator28/11/2020 14:15:47
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Thanks Andy, good enough for me too. And couldn't agree more thumbs up

MattyB28/11/2020 16:39:43
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Posted by Andy Symons - BMFA on 28/11/2020 14:02:04:

It is not my place to go in to details on the Article 16 authorisation, the bulk of it has been sorted and there is just a few details left to finalise. Essentially we should be operating pretty much as we always have and the doom-mongers and pessimists will be proven wrong. (again)

I sincerely hope you are right and I am wrong Andy, but there is a common link amongst us "doom mongers and pessimists" - we have read and understood the relevant CAA documents rather than simply accepting BMFA reassurances that nothing will change...

I don't believe anybody was ever worried about the continuation of the existing exemptions (400ft height limit, FPV etc); they have been operating without issues for a long time now. The problem is the significant additions in 722 that would mean substantial changes to the way we operate if association members are not exempted or the requirements significantly reduced. This includes the potential loss of flying sites with public access and even some private sites close residential, commercial, industrial or recreational areas.

Key sections I am talking about, all relevant to the Open A3 subcategory where recreational flying has to occur if it is to benefit from an authorisation (ref: pg 210, D1.16.2, c):

  • A1.4.1, Operating Area (pg 171) – “No flights within 150m horizontally of residential, commercial, industrial or recreational areas.”

This would affect many clubs and flying sites, especially if a public right of way is considered a “recreational area”. Interestingly there is now a pre-filled RA (UKPDRA01, pg182) for VLOS operations within 150m of these areas, but it also requires “UAS equipped with a mechanism that makes it land in the event of loss or disruption of C2 Link” and “UAS Operators must produce an operations manual which details how the flights will be conducted. CAP 722A contains further details (only the ConOps element of the operations manual is required for this PDRA)”.

  • A1.4.2, Separation from persons (pg 172) – “No uninvolved persons to be present within the area of the flight. No closer than 50m horizontally at any time.”

This could affect many sites but is a particular issue on public access ones (for instance if slope soaring or operating in a public park that allows flying) or those with a right of way adjacent/across them. In these locations an uninvolved person could appear at any time, and for slope the fact the aircraft has to be kept in the lift band means keeping the minimum distance cannot be guaranteed. If that occurs pilots are expected to follow the 1:1 “rule” (see below)

  • 2.1.3.1.1, 1:1 rule when reacting to unexpected issues (pg 42)

This section caged as a “simple principle (as opposed to an exact rule in law” to deal with situations when an uninvolved person is approaching or has entered the area of flight. Read it and see what you think – it seems anything but simple to me!

cap722 1to1 rule.jpg

Currently it would be impossible to show whether the such a rule had been broken or not, but in future that might not be the case. Remote ID with geolocation and logging are requirements under the Specific category and would allow the exact track and height of the model throughout the flight. It seems likely that would be added as a requirement to A3 if there was an incident (irrelevant of whether it was an association member or not). Not an immediate problem, but definitely a future risk, especially as authorisations have to be renewed annually initially.

Ultimately none of the above areas are mentioned in the BMFA comms issues yesterday. Members have been told for around a year this authorisation will be easy to negotiate, yet with ~30 days to go it’s not finalised. Given that I don’t think it’s unreasonable to feel a little nervous about the absence of reassurances. If all these points are addressed in the draft Op Auth, why not say so?

Edited By MattyB on 28/11/2020 16:49:12

Tim Flyer28/11/2020 16:47:57
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Agreed far far too much pessimism and doom mongering. BMA do all the hard work for us.
I’m very happy indeed with the huge amount of support they give and have given for us.

I find it rather easy to pay/register via their website and hopefully soon go fly my plane!

MattyB28/11/2020 16:57:01
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(Apologies for the large text in my post above; it was cut and pasted from Word and I don't seem to be able to reduce it's size in the editor)

One additional point re: the BMFA's final statement in the comm...

"...Anyone who is operating an unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) who is not a member of one of the UK four CAA recognised model flying associations will have to operate within the terms of the ‘Open Category’, details of which are published in the latest issue of CAP722 (see **LINK**)""

The Op Auth does not exempt members from following 722; it will only apply to specific areas where the CAA agree to different rules for association members. Everything else within 722 has to be followed for us to be flying legally (important from an insurance point of view).

PS - If this does end badly and flying at public access sites becomes more difficult/impossible I won't be blaming the BMFA; let's be honest, they have been negotiating with next to no cards and a government (not the CAA) who are desperate to eradicate us so commercial BVLOS operations can flourish. I just wish the comms were more regular and transparent so that members could be more engaged and knowledgeable about where we are headed.

Edited By MattyB on 28/11/2020 17:08:53

Gary Manuel28/11/2020 16:58:15
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Thanks Andy. yes

 

Thanks also to doomsters and gloomsters. It never harms to study and challenge the written word. yes

Edited By Gary Manuel on 28/11/2020 17:04:19

john stones 1 Moderator28/11/2020 19:04:32
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Feel the BMFA have improved communication with the membership greatly myself, updates come, maybe not always when you want them, but events and ongoing talks play a part. Patience, we'll get there.

Former Member28/11/2020 20:25:35
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Former Member28/11/2020 20:25:59
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