Club Notices

01 Feb 2021

CAA Registration Renewals - Important Update


Dear BMFA Member

We are aware that many of you have received a CAA registration renewal reminder. However, if you have already submitted a registration renewal request and paid the BMFA to do this for you, you do not need to take any further action.

All is in hand so please disregard the CAA renewal reminder email.

There is no need to contact the CAA to confirm whether your renewal has been made. They are in the process of updating their system to accept automated renewals through the BMFA which should be completed sometime this week (well before your current ID’s expire). You will then receive your updated operator ID shortly afterwards. The Operator ID’s are changing for this year (slightly frustrating we know) however going forward they should then remain the same. We had hoped the work would have been completed before any of the automatic renewal reminders were generated by the CAA.

Over the last year we have had many members ask if they can upload Operator id details to the membership portal that were obtained directly from the CAA or another association.

We are putting the facility in place and will send out details on how this is achieved soon.

Please note this facility will only be for Operator IDs and not Flyer IDs. Whilst a valid Flyer ID is perfectly acceptable evidence of competency to operate under our Article 16 Authorisation, we recommend members take the BMFA Registration Competency Certificate test which is much more relevant to our activities (see https://rcc.bmfa.uk/rcc) and will also then show on your membership documents once you upload the certificate to your records.

Kindest Regards
BMFA Membership Dept
26 Jan 2021

**Important notice** CAA Registration renewals update


Good Morning, we hope you are keeping safe and well.

A quick update on the CAA registration process.

You may have already received your CAA Operator registration details from the CAA, if that is the case please ignore this email.

You may have received or will soon receive a reminder from the CAA about renewing CAA registration. The CAA have been updating the process we use to submit registrations and renewals. This work is nearly complete, once that is done your registration/renewal will be submitted and you will receive your updated Registration details directly from the CAA shortly afterwards. For those who registered through the BMFA last year this will be before your current registration expires.

Therefore, you do not need to take any action due to the renewal email from the CAA.

For information, the format of Operator ID’s has changed and you will receive a new Operator ID on this occasion the format is GBR-OP-1X2Y3Z4A5B6C, you will be pleased to hear that your Operator ID should not change in the future.

Important Note: If your registration was completed either directly with the CAA or another association last year we need your current registration Operator ID details to be able to renew your registration. If you have not already provided those details please complete the form at https://e-forms.bmfa.org/caa-registration-details
04 Jan 2021

BMFA MESSAGE TO ALL MEMBERS 4/1/2021


Dear BMFA Member

As advised in previous communications the regulations for model aircraft and drone flying for BMFA members has changed and we can now operate under an Article 16 authorisation which you should read up on at https://rcc.bmfa.uk/article-16

The Article 16 authorisation essentially means we are able to continue flying largely as we have been doing previously.

There is however a small change regarding remote pilot competence for BMFA members as follows:

From 1st January any remote pilot of a free flight or radio controlled model aircraft or drone of mass greater than 250gm that is operating in accordance with our Article 16 authorisation must demonstrate a suitable level of pilot competence by one of the following 3 methods.

Have a valid BMFA Registration Competency Certificate (RCC)
Passing the CAA online DMARES test and having a ‘Flyer ID’
Have a BMFA Achievement Certificate that was obtained before 31/12/2020 and confirming to the BMFA that they have read and understood the conditions and restrictions that apply when operating within our Article 16 authorisation. (N.B. Certificates gained after 31/12/2020 cannot be used)

Taking the Registration Competency Certificate at https://rcc.bmfa.uk/rcc is an excellent way of ensuring you are familiar with the Article 16 authorisation and we recommend all members use this as their demonstration of competency, the questions are much more relevant to the activities of BMFA members than the CAA online DMARES test questions.


From 5pm today we will be adding a check box to our membership portal at https://bmfa.azolve.com/ for you to indicate you have read and understood the Article 16 authorisation.

We recommend all members log in to the portal to indicate they have read and understood the authorisation from that point. Please note you are required to do so if you are relying on a BMFA Achievement Scheme certificate obtained before 31/12/2020 as proof of competency.

Kind Regards
The BMFA

Tel: 0116 2440028

The Society of Model Aeronautical Engineers Limited T/A The British Model Flying Association
A company limited by guarantee. Registered in England Number 457067
Registered office Chacksfield House, 31 St Andrew's Road, Leicester, LE2 8RE



22 Dec 2020

Bmfa message to all members 22/12/ 2021


To all BMFA Members



We would firstly like to wish you all a safe and very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

2020 has truly been a year of disruption and some disappointment but we are looking forward to 2021 with a positive outlook.

We do need to inform members of the latest guidance relating to changes in COVID-19 restrictions which can be read on the website at https://bmfa.org/News/News-Page/ArticleID/2707/COVID-19-Regulations-Update-22-12-2020 and is also reproduced below.



COVID-19 Regulations Update 22/12/2020

England

There is no change that affects model aircraft flying in Tiers 1, 2 and 3 in England since our last update on 4/12/2020. See https://bmfa.org/News/News-Page/ArticleID/2703/COVID-19-Regulations-Update-4-12-2020

However, the Government have introduced a fourth Tier which currently covers London and much of the South East and a number of other areas.

In the new Tier 4 the instruction is that you must stay at home, apart from a limited number of exceptions. One of those exceptions is “to visit a public outdoor place for the purposes of open air recreation” and the definition of a public outdoor place includes “outdoor sportsgrounds or sports facilities” and therefore it is possible for model flying clubs to remain open and for model aircraft flying to take place within the regulations.

However, the regulations restrict an outdoor gathering at outdoor sportsgrounds or sports facilities to a maximum of two people in Tier 4 areas. Clubs should carefully consider what steps they need to take to ensure that no more then two people gather together, or whether it is advisable to have more than two people at the site at any one time.



Wales

The whole of Wales is currently at Covid alert level 4 and the Welsh Government has instructed all leisure facilities to close which includes model flying clubs.

Model flying itself has not been specifically prohibited. However, you should not be driving to get to somewhere to fly model aircraft, and the need to carry your equipment by car is not regarded as a justification on its own for driving in these circumstances.


Scotland

Model Aircraft flying is permitted in all Covid protection levels and organised indoor flying is permitted in Levels 0, 1 and 2 for over 18s and also in Level 3 for under 18s. Please note most areas of Scotland will be moving to Protection level 4 on 26th December.



Northern Ireland

From 26th December all sports facilities such as leisure centres, gyms, health clubs, swimming pools, tennis courts, golf courses, including model flying clubs must close



Thank you to everyone that has already renewed membership for 2021, your support is greatly appreciated, it is wonderful to have you as part of the BMFA family once again.

If you have yet to renew you can do so online at https://bmfa.azolve.com/ or by telephone on 0116 2440028, the office hours over the festive period are as follows:

9am - 4.30pm, 22nd - 23rd December

Closed, 24th - 28th December

9am - 4.30pm, 29th - 31st December

Office re-opens from 9am on Tuesday 56th January.

18 Dec 2020

Update on new UK drone and model aircraft rules and registration renewals



New drone and model aircraft rules and registration renewal
Hi

We are emailing to advise you of some changes to the UK drone and model aircraft laws that come into effect at the end of this year and also to update you on registration renewal.

In this issue:
New rules
Authorisation from the CAA
Registration and flyer renewal
Drones under 250g
More information

New rules
On 31 December 2020 the UK moves to a new set of rules for unmanned aircraft. For many people the basic rules on their day-to-day flying won’t change but there are some important amendments that users need to be aware of.

The key elements of always keeping your drone in sight, not flying above 120m (400ft) and staying clear of airfield restricted areas (unless you have specific permission to use them) remain unchanged.

The new rules focus on the risk of the flight, based on the weight and type of the drone, and where it is being flown, to decide what you can do and whether you need a CAA authorisation for your flying.

This is a change from what we have currently where many of the requirements for needing permission are based on whether you are being paid to fly your drone, or if it has a camera fitted to it.

The new laws set out three categories of flying, and you must always operate within one of these.

Open- ‘basic flying’ which does not require an authorisation from the CAA;
Specific- more complex operations, which require an operational authorisation;
Certified- complex operations, which require the use of a certified UAS, operator, and a licenced remote pilot.

You can find details of these and other updates at www.caa.co.uk/drones

As well as being changed in the UK, the same new rules are also being introduced to EU countries so there will now be very similar rules across most of Europe.


Authorisation from the CAA
In most cases if you currently require a permission or exemption from the CAA for your flying, then its highly likely this will continue to be the case under the new rules. This is due to the rules on flying in proximity to people and overflight of congested areas rather than because you are making money from flying your drone. You can check when an authorisation is required and how to apply for one, in our publication at www.caa.co.uk/CAP722

Operators who hold a permission or exemption first issued before 31 December 2020 should note that, due to technical constraints, the requirement for their remote pilots to obtain a new Flyer ID set out in CAP 722 Annex B section B3.2.7.1 and B3.2.7.2 no longer applies. However, it is the responsibility of the operator to ensure that any remote pilot operating under their permission or exemption, is fully aware of the new regulations, and also holds a valid flyer ID.

Read more on this


Registration and flyer renewal
Your operator registration needs to be renewed every year. If you still use the email address that you registered with, we will send through a reminder to renew. You can also do this directly via the registration system. You will be able to renew via the My registration portal 21 days before your Operator ID expires.

If you are an organisation, please make sure you are registered as an organisation rather than an individual. If you have already renewed as an individual, but operate as an organisation, then next time you renew please do so as an organisation. After next year, if you are an authorisation holder (in the Specific Category) your Operator ID must be in the same name as the Operational Authorisation.

Your current flyer ID lasts for three years, but the new test based on the new rules will last for five years. When you renew this you will be asked to conduct the test under the rules in place at the time.

Although the rules are changing there is no need to re do this now but we do recommend that you check out the new regulations so you can be sure you are complying with the law. You can see the new Drone and Model Aircraft Code at register-drones.caa.co.uk/drone-code

You can renew, gain a flyer ID and see the new drone and model aircraft code at Register-drones.caa.co.uk


Drones under 250g
Previously, if you flew drones under 250g then you didn’t need to register as an operator. Under the new rules from 31 December 2020 if your drone is under 250g and has a camera then you will need to register as an operator and renew this annually. The only exception to this is for drones which are toys. The law doesn’t require you to also obtain a flyer ID but we strongly recommend that you do. It is free and gives you an overview of the rules to keep your flying safe and legal.
You can register and gain a flyer ID at Register-drones.caa.co.uk


More information
More information on all these areas is available at www.caa.co.uk/drones

to stay up to date we recommend you subscribe to the drone category of our Skywise alerting system http://skywise.caa.co.uk/

regards

CAA unmanned aircraft team
17 Dec 2020

**Important please read** New regulations for model aircraft and drone flyi


Dear BMFA Member

(Sent to all members)

The UK adopted the EU regulations for unmanned aircraft (which included model flying) in 2019 and these will come into effect on December 31st, 2020. This is the same day that we exit from the EU, but regulations in place at the point of departure will be transferred directly into UK law.

Some requirements of the EU regulations were already in place (such as a height limits, Operator Registration and Competency requirements) following changes to the Air Navigation Order set out in 2018, but the EU regulations introduce further changes. Full details of the regulations for the operation of unmanned aircraft (which includes model aircraft) can be found in CAP 722 (http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP722%20Edition8(p).pdf).

However, given the excellent safety record established by model flyers throughout Europe, the EU agreed that model flying conducted within the framework of Associations like the BMFA should be subject to more flexible regulation to allow us to continue largely ‘as we do today’. The mechanism to facilitate this is referred to as an ‘Article 16 Authorisation’ (within the ‘Specific Category’) and we are now in possession of our Authorisation from the CAA, which sets out the regulations which will apply to our members with effect from December 31st, 2020.

Our Authorisation essentially permits us to continue operating as we do today.


The new EU regulations allow for alternative sets of rules to be applied to unmanned aircraft. The 'Open Category' rules set out in CAP722 can be used by anyone in the UK, regardless of whether they are members of any club or association and, amongst other things, include a ban on flying above 400ft. The Open Category requirements will not apply to BMFA members flying in accordance with the terms and conditions of our Article 16 Authorisation.

There is a lot of information to digest, but to assist with this we have produced a new ‘Quick Start Guide’ which can be viewed at https://rcc.bmfa.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BMFA-QSG-V16.pdf. We have also produced a more detailed guide which can be viewed at https://rcc.bmfa.uk/article-16, where you can also access the Article 16 Authorisation document.

We will be holding a Zoom Webinar at 7.30pm on Monday 21st December, to explain the Authorisation further for which you can register at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/7616081155190/WN_Fs1b3JWTS-6co_Rx_fxUmA. Places are limited, but a recording will be made available to view afterwards.

It has been a long process to arrive at this point, starting with negotiations with EASA and the European Commission back in 2015 which laid the foundation for special recognition for model flying within the EU unmanned aircraft regulations. Once the EU regulations were finalised, we then entered into prolonged negotiations with the DfT & CAA to try and arrive at a sensible outcome for members.

I would like to record my thanks to our special advisers (Cliff Whittaker and Roger Hopkinson MBE) and also to Rob Buckley (Secretary of the LMA) for the many hours they have put in to help us achieve this outcome for the UK Associations.

Dave Phipps - CEO

Tel: 0116 2440028

email: admin@bmfa.org

The Society of Model Aeronautical Engineers Limited T/A The British Model Flying Association


A company limited by guarantee. Registered in England Number 457067
Registered office Chacksfield House, 31 St Andrew's Road, Leicester, LE2 8RE


17 Sep 2020

Covid 19 and return to flying


Covid 19 Lockdown And OMAC flying.

Good afternoon members.

We are aware that All members of the Oldham Model Flying Club are eager to get back flying with all the recent good weather.

As the recent Local Covid 19 Lockdown in the Oldham Area. We suspended all the flying at our local flying sites, until we got further guidance for relevant governing bodies.

We have now been in Contact with these and have given us guidance how to manage this.

As a BMFA Affiliated Club and under Guidance from the BMFA, and with Guidance from Covid Leadership for Oldham Police. At this moment we are allowed to resume flying. BUT WITH RESTRICTIONS!!!! (but this may change in the future and you will be notified accordingly)

The following restrictions will apply and must be adhered too.

1, No more than one Six people Flying/Members at the field at one time. (please note we do have Two field we can fly from to allow more people to fly at any one time, (But Max of six at each field at any one time).

2, A track and trace system will be in place- please see below how we are going to manage this.

 (please note we know this is not going to be fair to member’s, but we are trying to mange this the best we can).

3, The 2m Rule will apply even if flying together. If this cannot be prevented, a face mask must be worn.

4, Hand sanitization - Members Must have to Hand – Hand Sanitization, if this is a problem, The club can provide a bottle

5 Track and Trace.

This is going to be done by means of contacting Wilf De Vries, (The chairman). who will then be taking a note of the club members who will be going flying on a certain day? There contact details  (also at what  Field you will be flying from, also he will be able to tell you at that moment in time who will be there, ALSO IF YOU WILL BE ABLE TO FLY ON THAT DAY?? due to how may members will be going.( to the max of 6 members) at each field.

We know there are some members who may fly during the day and some may fly in the evenings, but we will do our best to Facilitate all members where we can.

The Contacts for Wilf de Vries are.

Telephone: - 07738 863252

Email: - whilldevries@googlemail.com

Or you can message him by TXT or Whats app or Messenger.

05 May 2020

Caa Notification


New European UAS Regulations – Updated Guidance

29 April 2020 – We have published an updated version of our Guidance document: CAP1789 The EU UAS Regulation Package – Outline

This version provides an update based on revised information and policy developments since its original publication in June 2019.


Delay to the applicability date of EU UAS Regulation

Because of the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID19 outbreak, it has been decided that we will postpone the introduction of the new EU UAS Regulations within the UK by a period of at least four months.  As a result the new requirements of Regulation (EU) 2019/947 (known as the Implementing Regulation – IR) before 1 November 2020.

We are aware that the European Commission(EC) is also considering a postponement to the IR’s applicability date but the decision on this, and hence the final length of the delay period, is not likely to be made for a number of weeks yet.  We have taken the decision now so that we can provide a reasonable degree of certainty for you all, rather than continue to work towards the original 1 July applicability date and then change at the last minute.

It is quite possible that the EC may subsequently delay the applicability beyond 1 November, and we will notify you accordingly if this is the case. Rest assured, however, that the date from which any person involved in the operation of UAS within the UK will need to comply with the IR will not be before 1 November 2020. 

Our guidance within CAP1789 (The EU UAS Regulation Package – Outline) is being updated to reflect this applicability date change, along with a number of other developments since its original publication, and will be published very shortly.  The relevant dates within CAP722B will also be changed appropriately, as will the relevant aspects of the CAA Scheme of Charges.

17 Feb 2020

Caa New Exemption dated 17 February 2020


The CAA have issued a new exemption ORS4 1345 (linked below) this exemption:”exempts any member of The British Model Flying Association from the requirements of article 94D (registration as a Small Unmanned Aircraft {SUA} operator) until June 30th 2020.”

The 1st July is the date that the European Aviation (EASA) rules (Brexit not with standing) will come into play and could result in new operator numbers (or if we are lucky, possibly none or our BMFA membership numbers - just guessing here!)

What it does mean is that if you carry this exemption with your transmitter, plus proof of BMFA membership there is no longer any requirement to stick operator numbers all over every one of your planes at least until the end of June when any you do need to stick could possibly be different.

It also means you don’t need to worry about whether the CAA are actually going to get our operator numbers to us by 23rd February.

http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/1345.pdf

 

 


07 Nov 2019

The CAA launch DRES


UPDATE - CAA DRONE AND MODEL AIRCRAFT REGISTRATION AND EDUCATION SCHEME (DRES) – CAA LAUNCHES THEIR SYSTEM

The CAA have launched their DRES system today (5th November) to allow operators of unmanned aircraft to pass a competency test and register as operators. https://register-drones.caa.co.uk/ .

They have also launched a scheme to return lost ‘drones’ to their registered owners (see https://www.caa.co.uk/News/Drones-Reunited/).

As has been widely discussed, with effect from the 30th November 2019, the law requires that anyone operating an unmanned aircraft outdoors which weighs more than 250g (except control line models, rockets or balloons) is registered with the CAA and able to provide documented evidence of their competency.

However, as per our previous updates, members should not rush to register themselves on the CAA system as they are exempted from the requirement to register until the point that they renew their BMFA membership for 2020.

Members will be able to fulfil their legal obligations very simply through their membership of the BMFA. If members give their consent (and pay an additional £9 which the BMFA will forward directly to the CAA), the BMFA will register members with the CAA when they join or renew their membership.  This facility will be available from 1st December.

Please note that there is only a requirement to register with one organisation.   If a member, or prospective member, has already registered directly with the CAA or with another association prior to joining or renewing their membership, they should NOT register again through the BMFA or they will be charged twice. 

Members with existing achievements will also be exempted from the requirement to take the CAA’s online test.  Those without an existing achievement will be able to take the BMFA’s own ‘Registration Competency Certificate’ (RCC) as part of the membership renewal process which will be accepted as an alternative to the CAA’s online test.  Further details on the RCC will be available shortly.

Compliance with the CAA registration and competency requirements will not be conditions of BMFA Membership and are an individual’s personal responsibility.  It is accepted that some members may be registered through other organisations and/or hold other CAA recognised forms of competency.  Some members may also be engaged only in activities for which compliance is not a legal requirement. 

The UK Associations are still working with the CAA to resolve detailed arrangements and further information will be published after our next meeting (14th November).  The BMFA also remains in discussion with insurers to resolve any insurance implications and we hope to publish further information once the arrangements for 2020 are finalised.

07 Nov 2019

Links to CAA exemption certificates PDF (copy and paste into your browser)


http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/1324.pdf

http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/1326.pdf

http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/1327.pdf

 

06 Nov 2019

BMFA update on the CAA REGISTER


The CAA have launched their DRES system today (5th November) to allow operators of unmanned aircraft to pass a competency test and register as operators. https://register-drones.caa.co.uk/ .

They have also launched a scheme to return lost ‘drones’ to their registered owners (see https://www.caa.co.uk/News/Drones-Reunited/).

As has been widely discussed, with effect from the 30th November 2019, the law requires that anyone operating an unmanned aircraft outdoors which weighs more than 250g (except control line models, rockets or balloons) is registered with the CAA and able to provide documented evidence of their competency.

However, as per our previous updates, members should not rush to register themselves on the CAA system as they are exempted from the requirement to register until the point that they renew their BMFA membership for 2020.

Members will be able to fulfil their legal obligations very simply through their membership of the BMFA. If members give their consent (and pay an additional £9 which the BMFA will forward directly to the CAA), the BMFA will register members with the CAA when they join or renew their membership.  This facility will be available from 1st December.

Please note that there is only a requirement to register with one organisation.   If a member, or prospective member, has already registered directly with the CAA or with another association prior to joining or renewing their membership, they should NOT register again through the BMFA or they will be charged twice. 

Members with existing achievements will also be exempted from the requirement to take the CAA’s online test.  Those without an existing achievement will be able to take the BMFA’s own ‘Registration Competency Certificate’ (RCC) as part of the membership renewal process which will be accepted as an alternative to the CAA’s online test.  Further details on the RCC will be available shortly.

Compliance with the CAA registration and competency requirements will not be conditions of BMFA Membership and are an individual’s personal responsibility.  It is accepted that some members may be registered through other organisations and/or hold other CAA recognised forms of competency.  Some members may also be engaged only in activities for which compliance is not a legal requirement. 

The UK Associations are still working with the CAA to resolve detailed arrangements and further information will be published after our next meeting (14th November).  The BMFA also remains in discussion with insurers to resolve any insurance implications and we hope to publish further information once the arrangements for 2020 are finalised.


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