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. .

They have also launched a scheme to return lost ‘drones’ to their registered owners (see

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.


Further to the announcement earlier this week, we will be working with the CAA to clarify the detail of how we can best assist our members to comply with the Registration and Competency requirements which were introduced in the 2018 changes to the Air Navigation Order and become law on the 30th November 2019 for those operating unmanned aircraft.

The changes to the law are in part to address established issues arising from unlawful operation, but also to help facilitate the wider integration of unmanned aircraft into the airspace in the future.  The Queen’s Speech of 14th October announced the ‘Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill’ which introduces mechanisms for modernising airspace and Air Traffic Services and provides the Police with new powers to deal with the unlawful use of unmanned aircraft.

It is acknowledged that Operator Registration is unlikely to address unlawful operation and that those using an unmanned aircraft for malicious purposes are unlikely to register.  However, it does provide the Police with a mechanism for enforcement if they challenge anyone they suspect of operating an unmanned aircraft illegally.  If the operator is not registered or able to confirm competency, then the Police have an immediate and clear reason for issuing a fixed penalty notice or prosecution.  Details of the punitive measures have yet to be published.

Similarly, it is acknowledged that Competency requirements will not address the issue of those using unmanned aircraft with malicious intent.  However, there is a hope that it may help reduce the significant number of unlawful operations conducted unwittingly.  The BMFA does not disagree that awareness of applicable regulations is an essential requirement for safe operation and during our campaign it has become evident to all parties (including the CAA) that there are, perhaps, a few too many model flyers who do not fully understand the existing regulations.

The measures announced earlier this week are interim ones to deal with the immediate issue of the changes to UK law which become applicable on the 30th November.  We will be working with the CAA towards the implementation of the EU regulations in June 2020, so actively encouraging members to break the law by not complying (as some have suggested) would be counterproductive and detrimental to our ongoing negotiations.

What does this mean for BMFA members?

In simple terms, if you operate an unmanned aircraft weighing more than 250g outdoors after the 30th November then it will become a legal requirement to be registered as an Operator with the CAA and be able to provide evidence that you are competent (essentially to confirm that you are aware of the applicable laws).  Those who only operate control line aircraft will be exempted from the requirements.

The CAA have agreed to recognise our members’ Achievements as an alternative to their online test and allow us to administer registration of Operators as part of our membership process.  A few key points to note are that:

  1. The fee for Operator registration will be £9/year.  Where members choose to register through the BMFA, we will collect the fee and pass it on to the CAA.  The BMFA does not profit from this in any way.  The CAA has to make a charge to users in order to cover the cost of the scheme which is not subsidised by the Government (unlike in some other countries).
  2. Members will be exempted from registering as Operators on the 30th November and can register instead as part of the BMFA’s membership renewal process (ideally by the end of January 2020).
  3. Registering as an Operator through the BMFA will be a specific ‘opt-in’ for members and the CAA will only receive information for those members who have given consent by ‘opting in’ and paid the CAA fee.
  4. The BMFA has never and will never share members’ data with any third parties without consent.
  5. We are still clarifying arrangements for junior members in terms of Operator registration, but there are no age restrictions for ‘Remote Pilots’.
  6. Members who ‘opt in’ will receive an email from the CAA with their ‘Flyer ID’ once their data is uploaded. (Should a member be asked to provide proof of registration before receiving their Flyer ID the BMFA office will provide evidence of compliance.)
  7. There will be no requirement to place any registration numbers on the exterior of model aircraft, but they must be carried in an easily accessible location (within a battery hatch for example).
  8. For members with an existing Achievement, all that they will need to do to remain lawful will be to simply ‘opt in’ when they renew their membership and pay the additional CAA fee.

  9. We will shortly introduce a Member’s Competency Certificate (a simple knowledge test which will be available online/hardcopy and/or via our clubs and examiners) as an alternative to the CAA system for those without an existing Achievement.  Members without an existing Achievement will either have to complete a Member’s Competency Certificate or the CAA’s own test before we can register them as an Operator.
  10. Registration and/or evidence of competency will not be conditions of BMFA membership but failure to be able to produce evidence of both if challenged by the Police could result in a fixed penalty notice or prosecution.
  11. Compliance with the Registration/Competency requirements is largely a matter for individual members and as such we would not expect Clubs to automatically assume responsibility for policing it, though of course some may choose to do so (perhaps to assist those members wishing to comply who do not have access to the internet or in order to comply with local operating requirements such as FRZ permissions for example).
  12. We are still working with insurers to resolve any potential insurance implications and hope to be able to clarify the situation by the end of this week.
  13. Members will continue to benefit from the existing permissions/exemptions already granted to the CAA recognised UK Associations (such as the permission to operate above 400ft with aircraft of less than 7Kg, operate control line aircraft within an FRZ and operate FPV aircraft with a competent observer).

We appreciate that there are still likely to be many questions arising from this, but there remains a lot of detail to resolve with the CAA (and our insurers) before we can issue definitive guidance.  However, please be assured that we will provide further information and guidance as soon as it becomes available.


The CAA have just published the following update: which is provided in full below:

The UK’s new Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Scheme will go live on 5 November 2019 (please note that you cannot register before this date).

There will be two elements to the online system.

Anyone responsible for a drone or unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) weighing between 250g and 20kg will need to register as an operator.  The cost for this will be £9 renewable annually.

Anyone flying a drone or unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) weighing between 250g and 20kg will need to take and pass an online education package. This is free and renewable every three years.

Both of these requirements become law on 30 November 2019.

From 5 November 2019 the system will be available at

For holders of current CAA permissions or exemptions for drone operations (e.g. such as the permission related to commercial operations as required in ANO article 94(5)) and model flyers holding an achievement certificate issued by a UK model aircraft association with a CAA reviewed achievement scheme:

Remote pilots flying in accordance with a permission, exemption or operational authorisation (e.g. such as the permission related to commercial operations as required in ANO article 94(5)) that has been issued to a named UAS operator by the CAA will be exempt from having to undertake the online education training and test.

Similarly, where a UK model aircraft association already has an established and CAA reviewed ‘competency scheme’, members who hold an appropriate achievement certificate or award (such as the BMFA ‘A’ certificate) will also be exempt from having to undertake the online education training and test.

Any operators who are not covered under the conditions of a permission/exemption or do not hold a recognised association competency will need to complete the free online course.

To allow operators to demonstrate competence if challenged (for example by the police) the CAA will be issuing a formal exemption that can be used alongside existing permissions / achievements and any other relevant documents.  This exemption will be in place until 30 June 2020, when new regulations are expected.  We will be working with stakeholders in 2020 to put these into place.

For members of ARPAS-UK, British Model Flying Association (BMFA), Scottish Aeromodellers’ Association (SAA), Large Model Association (LMA) and FPV UK

Members will not need to register as an operator with the CAA system if they are a current member of these associations. With permission [of individual members], the associations will collect the registration fee from members directly and supply their data to the CAA. This will take place initially by 31 January 2020 and an exemption from the need to register will be put in place by 30 November to cover association members until then.

The associations will issue further detailed guidance to their members in due course.  Please see,,, or for further details.

Control line model aircraft flying

The CAA will be issuing an exemption meaning those flying control line model aircraft will not need to comply with the registration or education regulations.


ARPAS-UK and the BMFA have been working on behalf of their members, the other UK associations and the wider unmanned aircraft community to agree these changes with the DfT and the CAA since meeting with the Secretary of State for Transport on the 9th September.

David Phipps, BMFA CEO commented: we are grateful to the Secretary of State for Transport for his direct intervention in this matter which has allowed us to negotiate a more acceptable outcome for our community whilst enabling us to establish a much stronger relationship with the CAA and DfT in the process.  I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our members for their support of our campaign which was backed up by a significant number of MP’s, the wider aviation community, the APPG for General Aviation and our special advisers (Cliff Whittaker and Roger Hopkinson MBE).  It is very much a case of ‘United we Achieve’.

Members Documents Poll

The BMFA are offering members the chance to have a say in how they receive their membership documents in the future.

A Poll is available from the BMFA website to allow you to register your preference, whether it be electronic or paper versions of your membership cards.



On the BMFA Website ( BMFA.Org ) they have posted articles on the latest position in respect of the EU regulations and also on the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Report.  They include direct links to the documents concerned and may prove interesting reading.

As yet the BMFA have not given any further practical advice on the new Registration Scheme which we await eagerly.


The following information has been sent out by the BMFA today.

Further to our previous update of 11th September ( ).

There is no real change to the situation as published.  All parties are currently awaiting the outcome of the Secretary of State’s deliberations on the matter and there is little we can add until we receive this.

What we can confirm however is that the DRES scheme will not be rolled out on the 1st October (it seems unlikely that it will be rolled out before 14th October at the earliest) and for the time being we would therefore suggest that it remains ‘business as usual’ for our members.  We would also encourage members not to rush into registering or taking the test when the DRES is eventually rolled out until we have issued further guidance.

We will update members as soon as we receive further information from the Secretary of State for Transport, the Department for Transport and/or the Civil Aviation Authority.

David Phipps

Chief Executive

Tel: 0116 2440028

Fax: 0116 2440645

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


Carrier Deck Landing and Skittles Competition Results.

We were blessed with a glorious autumn afternoon for the latest rounds in the CDMFC Funfly Competion.

As usual the Skittles Competition produced some outstanding flying from the 8 members taking part. Richard Coles learned the hard way that it is not a good idea to attach the weighty tennis ball to the rear of the model.  Most members stuck to the tried and tested method of attaching the ball between the legs of the undercarriage, then using a variety of flight paths, they keenly attacked the target.

There was a choice of Red Skittles which scored 10 points or Clear Skittles scoring 5, and two minutes from wheels off to knock as many down as possible.  In truth the pilots had very little choice over the course that the ball took, and as long as they skilfully piloted the correct course, the ball either did its duty or passed cleanly through the maze,   Some pilots even tried knocking the skittles over with the model but these were discounted by sharp eyed judges on the sidelines.

In first place, scoring a stunning 70 points after flattening 8 clear and 3 red skittles came Ted.  In second place with a score of 55 made up from 4 red skittles and 3 clear skittles came Neil.    In third place with 2 red and 4 clear, scoring 40 came David.   Fourth place went to Gavin who  despite the handicap of only flying for half the allowed time, after his prop became tangled in the Ball string, scored 25 with 2 reds and  1 clear.  Fifth place went to Ian G who scored 20 points with 1 red and 2 clear skittles.  Sixth place went to a surprisingly out of form James and last scoring place with 1 solitary clear skittle scoring just 5 points, went to Colin.   Richard C was sadly to land abruptly before managing to score any points.

The Carrier Deck landing was scored according to the touch down point on the painted carrier deck.  As long as the model stopped on the painted target.  If it over-ran, no points were allocated.  Three attempts were allowed for each pilot and the resulting points added to produce a final score.

12 pilots were lined up to start this competition.  There were several tied places in this closely fought round, and points/places were therefore shared instead of any fly offs being held.  Points were available for 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100 positions on the deck.  No none scored the magic 100 in any round and only one score of 80.  This is probably due to the calm wind conditions and smooth deck surface.

In First place with an excellent combined score of 200 points, made up of 80, 60 and 60 came David.  In second place with scores of 100 came 3 pilots, Ted, Gavin and Ian G.  In equal 5th place came Matthew and Neil both scoring 80 points.  In 7th place came James who only managed two successful landings and therefor only scored 60 points.   In shared 8th place came Nic and Ian P, both scoring only one landing with 40 points.  10th place was shared by Colin and William neither of who managed to score any points but both came really close and were unlucky.   Colin was also hampered by adjustments made earlier to his model, which instead of making it easier to fly made it totally unpredictable and unwilling to slow down.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable afternoons flying, and as the closing round of the championship gets closer, things are hotting up.

Latest news from the BMFA on the proposed Registration Scheme


I published an update on the BMFA website on 23rd August ( ) which provided a summary of our position at that time. This was also going to be the basis of my article for the forthcoming issue of the BMFA NEWS.

However, the very next day I received a telephone call to tell me that the new Secretary of State for Transport (the Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP) had picked up the case for us and would ‘be in touch’.

A few days later I received an invitation to attend a meeting with Grant at the Houses of Parliament. This meeting took place on Monday the 9th September and involved me (on behalf of the UK Model Flying Associations), Graham Brown from ARPAS (on behalf of commercial drone operators) and high-level delegations from both the CAA and DfT. The outcome of the meeting was that the CAA and DfT have been tasked to work in collaboration with us urgently to try and find an acceptable way forward.

This is very much work in progress and as such I cannot provide much definitive information at this time. Please monitor the BMFA website and Facebook page for further updates in due course.

However, what I can confirm already is that those who only fly control line aircraft will be exempted from the DRES requirements and I can also confirm that registration numbers can be carried in an easily accessible location (such as within battery compartments) rather than on the exterior of model aircraft.  The registration fee is also likely to be subject to a change (for the better).  These items are the starting point.

We would therefore encourage members not to rush into registering or taking the test when the DRES is rolled out in the next few weeks, until we have concluded our current round of discussions with the CAA and DfT and issued further guidance to members. For the time being, we would suggest that it remains ‘business as usual’.

Both the CAA and DfT have given a commitment to ‘re-set’ their relationships with the model flying community and work with us in close collaboration from this point forward, a very positive development which we greatly appreciate. It’s perhaps preferable to being inundated with correspondence from our magnificent members and their MP’s! Thanks again to all those members who have supported our relentless campaign so far.

Watch this space!

Dave Phipps CEO

Latest Round of the CDMFC Championship Aerobatics.

8 of our keenest club members gathered together last Saturday to contest the latest round of the Aerobatics competition.  The schedule had been previously published by James to allow the competitors to study the requirements.   The manoeuvres were judged by an experienced Club member who allocated points for each movement.  The scores were all evenly matched and creditably high.

In first place with an impressive 220 points was Ted.  Second came James very closely behind with 216 and only 7 points behind him came David.  Fourth place went to Neil with 202, Fifth place to Gavin with 197, Sixth to Philip with 184, Seventh to Matthew with 184 and in 8th place with a still impressive score of 179 points came Ian.

Tangerine Dropping Competition.

The latest round of the CDMFC Fun Fly Championship took place last Saturday with 10 members taking part.  The results were based on the distance from the target that the Tangerine ended up, after being ejected from the flying model.  Accuracy was not as much on show as in recent years but the results were:

  1. 1st place Neil with a distance of 6ft.
  2. 2nd Place   Ted with a distance of 8ft 2 inches.
  3. 3rd Place   James with a distance of 11ft 10 inches.

4th place went to Mathew Barden, 5th to David , 6th to John , 7th to Philip, 8th to Gavin, 9th to Ian and finally with a distance of 56ft and 8 inches came William.   Well done everyone,  It was great to see 3 Juniors taking part in a fun fly competition.

Nick Lester

Good News from the BMFA Nationals Fun Fly.    At the Nationals Fun Fly held over the Bank Holiday weekend, Nick Lester gained first place in Class 2.   This was a closely fought contest held over 4 rounds and Nick did well to achieve the highest overall score amongst some talented completion.  Congratulations Nick!.


The Science and Technology Committee holds its third evidence session on its Commercial and recreational drone use in the UK inquiry on Tuesday 9th July.

Watch it online at Parliament TV.


At 9.30 am

  • Gemma Alcock, Founder, SkyBound Rescuer
  • Professor David Dunn, International Politics, University of Birmingham
  • David Phipps, Chief Executive, British Model Flying Association

At 10.30 am

  • Baroness Vere of Norbiton, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Department for Transport

This is the third and final session of the Committee's inquiry into commercial and recreational drone use in the UK. Themes for the session's first panel include:

  • reflecting upon the state of current drone safety education and exploring options and strategies for improving the quality and delivery of this education; and
  • addressing ethical concerns—including privacy concerns—that surround the increased availability, and use of, drone technology.

During the second panel, the Committee will question Baroness Vere of Norbiton, Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department for Transport. Questioning will cover a range of areas including:

  • the current regulatory framework;
  • forthcoming regulations;
  • risks associated with drones; and

•     the opportunities presented by the growing industry.

Club Competitions May.

11 members of the club entered models into this year’s  Flying Scale Competition.

The entrants were required to fly a set schedule followed by manoeuvres chosen from a menu that were within the capabilities of themselves, and appropriate for the model being flown.   The flights were judged by Richard Pidduck and Roger Everitt chosen from a cast of thousands.


In first place after the scores were added up came Carl, followed extremely closely by James, a margin of only one point separated them.  Third came Neil, 4th David, 5th was Colin, 6th was Ian, 7th was Phillip, 8th Mathew, 9th Gavin, who sadly was unable to complete a full flight after an engine failure, 10th was John who also did not complete the flight and in last place came Richard who was also suffering from engine reliability.


The Scale competition was then followed by a Fun Fly round Touch and Go Bang.  10 pilots took part 6 of whom managed to burst the balloon which comprised the Bang part of the competition. In first place came Ted who scored 49, Second place went to Gavin with 47, Third was David with 42, 4th place went to James who scored 38, 5th to Neil with 27 points, 6th place went to Phillip with 24, 7th to William who scored 19, 8th to Ian with 12, 9th to Richard C with 9. Finally came Matthew with 2 points.

Visit of the SVVS

On Wednesday 15th May the CDMFC hosted a visit by the Surrey Vintage Vehicle Society.  On a glorious summer evening we enjoyed showing our models to 10 visitors from the society who were thoroughly impressed.   A report on the visit has been published on the society website , it contains numerous pictures of the club and the models on show.


April Competition Results

Two rounds of the Fun Fly competition were held on the warmest day yet of 2019.  10 members of the club contested the Blackjack and Water Carrying rounds which attracted entries from new and old members alike.

First place in Blackjack was claimed by Ted, who scored his total of 21 in the minimum of 3 touch and gos in a time of just 22.44 seconds.  Second place was taken by Gavin who scored his 21 points in just 32.97 seconds just ahead of Neil who completed his round in 33.77 seconds.

Once again this year the Water Carrying was combined with a short landing to sort out the old pilots from the bold pilots. Ted triumphed again landing with 34 drips of water remaining in a distance of 3 mtrs. This gave him a score of 28.  Neil came second with a total of 24 drips again in a distance of 3 mtrs, thus scoring 18 points.  Third place went to Matthew who landed with only 6 drips remaining but right on the spot, which meant that he scored 6 points.

Well done to all those who took part.

2019 Competition Season.

The first few competitions of this Season have taken place at the field.  There has been an excellent turn out so far with several members new to competitions already making a promising start to the championship.

Here are the top three in each of the rounds so far:

Deadstick Aerobatics.   1st David C and  in equal 2nd place were Neil and Shaun.   13 members took part.

Loops and Land.     1st Gavin ,  2nd Neil and in 3rd place  David C.        13 members took part

Triple Thrash.   1st Gavin,  2nd Ted and in 3rd place Matthew.      9 members took part.

Left is Right.    1st David C, 2nd Phillip  and in 3rd place  Wayne.    12 members took part.



Christmas Club Night 17th December 2018

Please come along and support the Club at the Christmas Club night.  If you have been before you will know why it is the one night of the year not to miss out on.   If you have not been before, the competition winners throughout the year will receive their certificates and an array of other trophies will be presented.  This includes an award to our Pilot of the Year, our Unluckiest Pilot of the Year and the well deserved Brian Gordon Memorial Club Spirit Award.

Our monthly raffle takes on a special Christmas Theme, and our Super Raffle Prize finds a worthy owner.  Best of all enjoy the company of your fellow club members and enjoy a fine buffet prepared by the Chairman and Treasurer. Yum Yum.

See you there.

Membership for 2019

Membership Application Forms for 2019 have now been sent out to all members.

Email is not infallible, and the Secretary sometimes presses an incorrect key, so please

contact RIchard if you are a current member and have not yet got your form.