What is the CAA ‘Permission to fly’?

The CAA operates a permissions and exemptions scheme which is designed to enable operations beyond the normal bounds of the regulations laid down within the Air Navigation Order (ANO), provided that the CAA is satisfied that this can be achieved in a safe manner.  

General Exemption has been issued which allows an element of ‘First Person View’ (FPV) flight to be conducted.  The exemption covers the conditions that must be observed while employing this privilege.

Article 95 of the ANO  (Air Navigation Order) states that, if you wish to fly your camera fitted drone:

  • within 150m of either a congested area or an organised open-air crowd or more than 1000 persons
    and/or
  • within 50m of people or properties/objects that are not under your control

then you will need to obtain a Permission from the CAA in order to do so legally.  Because the Permission will enable you to reduce the normal safety limits that have been set out for drone operations, the CAA must obviously be satisfied that you are able to do this safely.  

We do this by:

  • asking you to tell us about your drone and how it works
  • asking you to tell us about how you intend to conduct your flight in a safe manner 
  • asking you to provide us with evidence of your competency to fly your drone

The process that we use is the same one that must be followed by drone operators who wish to conduct commercial operations. 

To get this Permission, you will need to:

  • Demonstrate your ‘piloting competence’
    • Demonstrate a sufficient understanding of aviation theory (airmanship, airspace, aviation law and good flying practice). 
    • Pass a practical flight assessment (flight test).