Mr Andrew Sage’s Views On UK Drone Users

Well, during the recent UK Commons Enquiry into drone use in the UK, it appears that NATS (National Air Traffic Service) Mr Andrew Sage, who incidentally is the Head of Unmanned Traffic Management, made a presentation to the panel of MPs in which he labelled UK drone users as “clueless”, “careless”, and “criminal”. Always pleasant to see the UK drone industry in such good hands, oh and by the way Mr Sage, we are NOT clueless, we are NOT careless, and we are certainly NOT criminals and resent that very poisonous accusation. Given Mr Sage’s obvious hatred and discrimination against drone users, perhaps he should not be in charge of Unmanned Traffic Management, as there is clearly some huge areas of personal conflict there. Just a thought.

Following recent updates to the Air Navigation Order for small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS) the CAA have reviewed the process for the notification of SUAS flights.

Subsequently they will no longer issue NOTAM for SUAS flights below 400ft AGL. This decision follows engagement with key stakeholders and the use of risk analysis tools and safety data. It does not affect

  • the requirements for UAS operators to follow the NATS NSF and ENSF process.
  • the ability for aerodromes to promulgate NOTAM’s within their associated areas should they deem necessary.

Any SUAS operators with exemptions to operate higher than 400ft AGL will be required to inform the CAA, Airspace Regulation, to enable NOTAM to be published.

Pilots are reminded to remain vigilant whilst operating both inside and outside the London and City CTR due to the increase in UAS operations.

SW2019/133

The CAA Issues Guidance On EU UAS Regulation Package Via CAP1789

This document provides an outline of the newly published EU unmanned aircraft regulations along with a simple explanation of the general intent behind the key parts of the regulations and our outline plans for their implementation within the UK next year. It is intended to be used as an aid to reading and understanding the regulations themselves.

It will be very interesting to see how these plans are rolled out by the CAA when the time comes in 2020, but we expect that even if the UK leaves with a hard brexit, the CAA will probably adopt the regulations as they are, but there is still a lot of flesh to be put on the bones of this one yet.

On 22 March 2019 the CAA released a Skywise update regarding the DJI M210 series drone and a number of reported failures. DJI has been unable to identify a common root cause and continues to investigate whether the failures are related. The CAA has received no further similar reports.

No additional restrictions beyond those in the Air Navigation Order 2016 are in place for the use of a DJI M210.

However, the CAA reminds operators to have appropriate mitigation’s in place if flying over persons or property in accordance with the Air Navigation Order, as was the case prior to this reported issue.

SW2019/116