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UK ANO 2016 v PFAW/PFCO

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I've been studying the UK CAA consultation document for the safe use of drones which prompted me to once again check the regulations set out in ANO 2016 parts 94 & 95.

Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems that on some counts the regulations are less strict when hobby flying sub 7kg drones under ANO 2016 than commercial flying under PFCO, namely:

1) there is no altitude limit (400ft under PFCO)
2) no mention of not flying directly overhead people, property or vehicles. Only within 50m (but this is a 'bubble')
3) no mention of having the landowner's permission for take-off and landing

Conversely under PFCO sub 7kg drones can be flown in congested areas.

So theoretically if I simply want to fly & film for my own pleasure under the ANO 2016 regulations, all other requirements being satisfied is one free to take-off and land wherever (subject to by-laws) and soar as high as the drone will go (14,000ft according to my Inspire spec'n. - if GO allows)?

I'd welcome any clarification/comments.
 
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Not sure what you mean because Pts 94 & 95 state:

94.—
(1) A person must not cause or permit any article or animal (whether or not attached to a parachute) to be dropped from a small unmanned aircraft so as to endanger persons or property.
(2) The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft may only fly the aircraft if reasonably satisfied that the flight can safely be made.
(3) The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft must maintain direct, unaided visual contact with the aircraft sufficient to monitor its flight path in relation to other aircraft, persons, vehicles, vessels and structures for the purpose of avoiding collisions.
(4) The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft which has a mass of more than 7kg excluding its fuel but including any articles or equipment installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of its flight, must not fly the aircraft— (a) in Class A, C, D or E airspace unless the permission of the appropriate air traffic control unit has been obtained; 49 (b) within an aerodrome traffic zone during the notified hours of watch of the air traffic control unit (if any) at that aerodrome unless the permission of any such air traffic control unit has been obtained; or (c) at a height of more than 400 feet above the surface unless it is flying in airspace described in sub-paragraph (a) or (b) and in accordance with the requirements for that airspace.
(5) The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft must not fly the aircraft for the purposes of commercial operations except in accordance with a permission granted by the CAA.

Small unmanned surveillance aircraft

95.—
(1) The person in charge of a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not fly the aircraft in any of the circumstances described in paragraph
(2) except in accordance with a permission issued by the CAA.
(2) The circumstances referred to in paragraph (1) are— (a) over or within 150 metres of any congested area; (b) over or within 150 metres of an organised open-air assembly of more than 1,000 persons; (c) within 50 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft; or (d) subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), within 50 metres of any person.
(3) Subject to paragraph (4), during take-off or landing, a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not be flown within 30 metres of any person.
(4) Paragraphs (2)(d) and (3) do not apply to the person in charge of the small unmanned surveillance aircraft or a person under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft. (5) In this article, “a small unmanned surveillance aircraft” means a small unmanned aircraft which is equipped to undertake any form of surveillance or data acquisition.

The standard permissions granted by the PfCO mirror those stated in the ANO 2016.
 
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My permissions from my PfCO
pfco.png
 
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Have you taken a ground school course with an NQE as it all becomes clear on a course on what you can and cant do and interpretation.
Yes I have a PFAW and know exactly what the permission allows but ANO 2016 differs, hence my query about hobby flying.

We never got into any discussions about hobby v commercial restrictions at my ground school (EuroUSC - say no more) but it sounds as if you did. Perhaps you can shed some light on this?

Thanks
 
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How does it differ? The ANO 2016 states the same restrictions for hobbyist flyers as it does commercial as far as I can see. I don't get what you mean. Hobbyist flyers are still bound by the ANO and the restrictions stated in there. The only real difference is that PfCO/ PfAW holders can operate commercially and they must have insurance etc.
 
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Not sure what you mean because Pts 94 & 95 state:



The standard permissions granted by the PfCO mirror those stated in the ANO 2016.

Ah - your PFCO wording differs from my PFAW which was renewed last July (below). The reference in (d) to flying overhead doesn't appear in yours, however there is still the reference to obtaining the landowner's permission in both which is not in ANO 2016.

So it looks like we're working to a different set of rules - thanks CAA!

Screenshot14.jpg

Wording in ANO 2016:

Screenshot15.jpg
 
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How does it differ? The ANO 2016 states the same restrictions for hobbyist flyers as it does commercial as far as I can see. I don't get what you mean. Hobbyist flyers are still bound by the ANO and the restrictions stated in there. The only real difference is that PfCO/ PfAW holders can operate commercially and they must have insurance etc.

That's the point - they aren't the same if you have a read.

Discounting the 'overhead' rule which it seems has changed from PFAW to PFCO, the ANO doesn't restrict height to 400ft or require landowners' permission to lift-off or land.

Like you I was under the impression they were one and the same but it appears not.
 
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In section D on the PfAW and PfCO, mine says over or within 150 metres, the only difference to yours is that yours says directly over. It's still the same restriction though.

I see your point on landowners permission though, that should be a pre-requisite for any UAV operator, commercial or hobbyist.

The ANO states height restriction here:

(c) at a height of more than 400 feet above the surface unless it is flying in airspace described in sub-paragraph (a) or (b) and in accordance with the requirements for that airspace.
 
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In section D on the PfAW and PfCO, mine says over or within 150 metres, the only difference to yours is that yours says directly over. It's still the same restriction though.

I see your point on landowners permission though, that should be a pre-requisite for any UAV operator, commercial or hobbyist.

Well spotted - but the ANO doesn't mention anything about 'over'. I agree about the landowner's permission it's only commonsense but strictly speaking it appears a hobbyist isn't violating the ANO if they don't get permission, or if they fly above 400ft (sub 7kg only), or if they fly over people / property by at least 50m. Commercially we can do none of these within our permissions but does that mean things changed when we fly for pleasure?

If we're struggling to be clear on the 'rules' what chance does a hobbyist have and how on earth can we expect anybody to enforce them? Just as well the CAA consultation is in progress which got me onto all this in the first place. If you want to have a look it's all here:

Benefits of drones to the UK economy - GOV.UK

Appendix C is a summary of the current law!
 
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I'm not trying to be argumentative but the ANO does state:

4) The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft which has a mass of more than 7kg excluding its fuel but including any articles or equipment installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of its flight, must not fly the aircraft— (a) in Class A, C, D or E airspace unless the permission of the appropriate air traffic control unit has been obtained; 49 (b) within an aerodrome traffic zone during the notified hours of watch of the air traffic control unit (if any) at that aerodrome unless the permission of any such air traffic control unit has been obtained; or (c) at a height of more than 400 feet above the surface unless it is flying in airspace described in sub-paragraph (a) or (b) and in accordance with the requirements for that airspace.

95.—
(1) The person in charge of a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not fly the aircraft in any of the circumstances described in paragraph
(2) except in accordance with a permission issued by the CAA.
(2) The circumstances referred to in paragraph (1) are— (a) over or within 150 metres of any congested area; (b) over or within 150 metres of an organised open-air assembly of more than 1,000 persons; (c) within 50 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft; or (d) subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), within 50 metres of any person.

The only difference/ omission when comparing the ANO to the PfCO/PfAW is that of obtaining the landowners permission.
 
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Been reading this just on interest, here in the US, once you get your part 107 license, you can't fly "recreational" any longer and are bound by the rules. Even though technically hobby pilots have to follow those rules too, but it's not clearly stated.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using InspirePilots mobile app
 
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I'm not trying to be argumentative but the ANO does state:

4) The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft which has a mass of more than 7kg excluding its fuel but including any articles or equipment installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of its flight, must not fly the aircraft— (a) in Class A, C, D or E airspace unless the permission of the appropriate air traffic control unit has been obtained; 49 (b) within an aerodrome traffic zone during the notified hours of watch of the air traffic control unit (if any) at that aerodrome unless the permission of any such air traffic control unit has been obtained; or (c) at a height of more than 400 feet above the surface unless it is flying in airspace described in sub-paragraph (a) or (b) and in accordance with the requirements for that airspace.

95.—
(1) The person in charge of a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not fly the aircraft in any of the circumstances described in paragraph
(2) except in accordance with a permission issued by the CAA.
(2) The circumstances referred to in paragraph (1) are— (a) over or within 150 metres of any congested area; (b) over or within 150 metres of an organised open-air assembly of more than 1,000 persons; (c) within 50 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft; or (d) subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), within 50 metres of any person.

The only difference/ omission when comparing the ANO to the PfCO/PfAW is that of obtaining the landowners permission.

Quite right but if you look in line 1 it states that's for SUAs of over 7kg - not under 7kg which is what my permission is for.
 
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I'm not trying to be argumentative but the ANO does state:

4) The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft which has a mass of more than 7kg excluding its fuel but including any articles or equipment installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of its flight, must not fly the aircraft— (a) in Class A, C, D or E airspace unless the permission of the appropriate air traffic control unit has been obtained; 49 (b) within an aerodrome traffic zone during the notified hours of watch of the air traffic control unit (if any) at that aerodrome unless the permission of any such air traffic control unit has been obtained; or (c) at a height of more than 400 feet above the surface unless it is flying in airspace described in sub-paragraph (a) or (b) and in accordance with the requirements for that airspace.

95.—
(1) The person in charge of a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not fly the aircraft in any of the circumstances described in paragraph
(2) except in accordance with a permission issued by the CAA.
(2) The circumstances referred to in paragraph (1) are— (a) over or within 150 metres of any congested area; (b) over or within 150 metres of an organised open-air assembly of more than 1,000 persons; (c) within 50 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft; or (d) subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), within 50 metres of any person.

The only difference/ omission when comparing the ANO to the PfCO/PfAW is that of obtaining the landowners permission.

Sorry hit the 'post reply' too early

Also 'over' here is referring to congested areas or an open-air assembly. My PFAW covers this in (d) for an open-air assembly but as it's for sub 7kg the congested area rule does not apply.

My PFAW also has (e) which states 'directly overhead or within 50m of any person, vessel, vehicle or structure etc.' In the ANO 95 2(c) it only says 'within 50m of any vessel, vehicle or structure etc.' The 'directly overhead' wording doesn't exist and it seems that it's not in stuartpb's PFCO on reading it through again.
 
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Been reading this just on interest, here in the US, once you get your part 107 license, you can't fly "recreational" any longer and are bound by the rules. Even though technically hobby pilots have to follow those rules too, but it's not clearly stated.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using InspirePilots mobile app

I can't find any such stipulation for those of us with UK CAA permissions.
If anything I would expect the regulations to be less strict for the licensed commercial operators as opposed to the hobbyists but it seems it's the other way round.
 
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I can't find any such stipulation for those of us with UK CAA permissions.
If anything I would expect the regulations to be less strict for the licensed commercial operators as opposed to the hobbyists but it seems it's the other way round.
The FAA didn't really use their brains on that one. Sounds like the UK tried TOO hard, lol.

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Ah, you've spotted the Elephant in the Room....

From what I've read and discussed with people (and I'm happy to be corrected)...

Technically, at present there are no specific ANO regulations relating to sub 7Kg SUA's except when flown FPV (with an observer) when there is a limit of 1000ft. There are slightly more restrictive guidance for SUSA's. Once you obtain your PfCO, the CAA stipulate that you will be bound by additional requirements (which didn't apply prior as a recreation flier) when operating commercially. Some of those additional restrictions come from the 7-20Kg bracket, but also as a sop to soften the blow you are given some reduced restrictions from hobby flying in the form of the 50m separation minima (150m otherwise).

While there are no explicitly stated altitude limits (<7Kg, recreational), there is an limit in that you must maintain visual line of sight with your SUA at all times. The VLOS limits are generally taken to be 500m (1640ft) horizontal distance and 400ft in height.

But... Whatever your interpretation of the ANO and how it does or doesn't apply to you and your UAS, the catch-all clause overriding everything is the requirement that the UAS pilot must be able to satisfy themselves that the flight may be undertaken safely and to not endanger other air users. So, even if you can say you were operating within the ANO, should your flight be deemed unsafe, then you've no leg to hop on never mind stand on.

If you decide to go outside the guidance, then it's on your head. And from studying the Airprox reports and analysis, anyone who does ignore the suggested maxima won't get any sympathy or leeway allowed if there's an 'incident' or anyone comes close to them. Even if it's not actually their fault, it'll be their fault just for being there...

Is a few seconds of video or a photo worth an accident... same as checking your mobile when driving - is it really worth it?
 
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It is quite clear, whether recreational or commercial, in the UK 400ft is you max altitude iaw Art. 94 - the ANO applies to all. Also, the drone code gives guidance and comes from the ANO. VLOS has primacy so, if you fly a Mavic and can only see it to 200ft or 300m then that becomes your limit. Landowner permission is guidance in CAP 722, but for for PfCO holders it is explicit in your permission.
 
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