What is a drone licence and how do I get one?

As an emerging technology, there is naturally some confusion around the rules and regulations for flying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). We’re often asked do you need a licence to fly a drone? Who needs one? How do I get one? We have all the information you need to know.

At UAVAir, this area is our speciality! Read on as we shed some light.

What is a drone licence?

Technically the term ‘drone licence’ is misleading. In the UK there is no such thing as a drone licence. However, there is a necessary qualification put in place by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) to regulate safety. The CAA issue operators a Permission for Commercial Operation (PfCO) which can be considered similar to a licence.

Who needs a drone licence?

At the moment, not everyone needs a licence in order to legally fly. If you are flying a consumer drone for recreational purposes, then you do not need a licence. Your drone however must be under 20kg in weight, and you follow some regulations. Although no formal qualification is needed, you can’t fly 150 metres of a congested area and 50 metres of a person, vessel, vehicle or structure not under the control of the pilot.

If you are employed by a company to fly a drone for commercial purposes, then you must go on a course to obtain your PfCO.

How can I get a drone licence?

With an Unmanned Aircraft Qualification from UAVAir, you can provide evidence to the CAA, your employers, insurance, and authorities that you have been deemed sufficiently competent in the operation of a drone. Whilst also protecting you in the eyes of the law, this certification will equip you with the knowledge, skills and industry recognised credentials to secure wider project work.

To gain a licence for flying a drone for commercial purposes, you will need to attend a drone licence course. It is important to make sure you attend a course like ours that has been approved by the CAA. At UAVAir, we can teach you how to fly safely and efficiently via a large number of courses at locations across the UK. We also offer different training options tailored to your needs.

If you are a recreational pilot who wants to undertake a commercial drone job quickly, our Fast-Track courses can give you the CAA required credentials you need in just three days. We also offer bespoke flight training for those who want to learn how to fly the correct way, from the very beginning.

Want to find out more about our drone courses? Give us a call on +44 (0)208 0450 508 to discuss obtaining your UAQ drone licence with UAVAir or get in touch here.