FAQs

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A DRONE LICENCE IN THE UK

At DronePartners we believe in being clear and up front, avoiding jargon and too much marketing speak.  In the UK there is no such thing as a Drone Licence it is a Permission for Commercial Operations, a PfCO.  This permission can only be granted by the UK CAA – it is not granted by your training provider.

There is no such thing as a CAA approved drone training course.  The CAA grants privileges to training providers as National Qualified Entities (NQEs).  An NQE has to provide details of how they will operate their training to the CAA and this is audited before this status is granted.

Also the NQE approval only covers the activities regulated by the CAA, so this does not include add on training or flight coaching.

HOW DO I GET A PfCO?

It is a relatively simple process:

  • You need to be over 18 years old
  • Attend a Ground School provided by an NQE
  • Pass the exam on the Ground School
  • Obtain insurance to operate your drone commercially
  • Obtain at least 4 hours of flying on your drone
  • Complete your operations manual
  • Complete a flight test
  • Apply to the CAA for your permission with the certificate issued by the NQE

Ironically there is no CAA requirement to have training on flying your drone, however we would make a recommendation that you get this training especially if you are new to flying drones.

Setting up a drone pre flight

HOW DO I CHOOSE A PROVIDER?

You need to qualify that the provider of your training is an NQE or they have an NQE delivering the course, we would strongly recommend that you confirm who the NQE is before booking.  Be wary of guarantees – these are not real.  The CAA requires that you achieve a specific standard before any certificate recommending you for a PfCO can be honoured.

Examine the experience of the organisation and the trainer, you will get more value from a course delivered by real pilots and practitioners.

Beware of “the sausage machine” courses.  Our premise is we want you to become a good operator, capable and confident to pilot your drone in the real commercial environment.  If you have no background in this area its not a reasonable assumption that you can do this in a few days.

FLYING LOCATIONS

If you are looking to get flight training you need to qualify the locations that the provider can offer you.  When your new to this you are looking for simple, safe and very open locations to learn your piloting skills.

If you are looking for developing your skills any training should be provided in an environment that is a reasonable representation of real life.  Training to inspect a mast should be delivered against a real mast!