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Permission for Commercial Operations

Permission for Commercial Operations

I have finally done my drone test so I can now apply for my Permission for Aerial Work PFAW from the Civil Aviation Authority CAA.  About half my customers are professional drone users such as Aerial Photographers, Wedding Photographers, Surveyors or Estate Agents and they have to have this qualification to be able charge for any work they do which requires a drone. So in order to help them better I decided to get qualified as well. There are 2 ways to get qualified – the first is a week long residential course and the second way is to break the training down into 3 sections and do one at a time. I wanted to understand each stage thoroughly before I move onto the next so I chose the second option.


The first part of the training is 2 days in a classroom learning about Air Law, Aircraft General Knowledge, Principles of Flight, Meteorology, Navigation and Operational Procedures. I found all this very exciting and at the end of the 2nd day passed the theory test with 98%


The second part of the training is to prepare an Operations Manual which will show what type of UAV you have and how you will operate it safely. This is a lot harder than it sounds with some of the info required quite difficult to get hold of but with help from some of the members of the Drone Club and one or two Drone Photography Companies that I know I soon had it compiled and sent off.  You will also need some insurance.


Once your Operations Manual is accepted you can apply for your practical test where you have to find out about the area you are going to be operating in, answer some questions about your Operations Manual and have a flying test. The flying test can be a bit tricky if you don’t know what to expect and it is worth getting some training from a company such as rpasservice.com who offer formal flying training and will help you prepare for your exam. After you pass the practical part of the test you can apply to the CAA for your PFCO.


The training was great fun and I have improved my flying skills and understanding of the Drone Industry which I can now put to good use in helping my customers. If you are considering doing the training yourself I would recommend it and you are welcome to contact me with any questions.

Posted by Christian Smith