UAVAir highlights changes to ANO affecting commercial UAV pilots

The aviation industry is taking note this week as the existing ANO 2009 is to be replaced by an updated Order. The restructured ANO 2016 will come into force on 25th August 2016, with amendments that are applicable to those who operate a UAS across the UK. CAA approved NQE, UAVAir highlights these important changes, and urges all current PFAW holders or pilots looking to gain a CAA approved drone accreditation to understand how this will impact their application for commercial certification.

The main changes to the ANO 2016 consist of a restructuring and renumbering of the existing articles in the Order. However, as well as these edits to arrangement, the term ‘Commercial Operation’ is set to replace the term ‘Aerial Work’, which can be seen in article 259 of the updated ANO. Anyone in receipt of a Permission for Aerial Work (PFAW) will be issued with a Permission for Commercial Operation (PFCO) when applying after 25th August. Those already possessing a PFAW are not required to renew their permission immediately and will receive their PFCO upon their annual renewal. Leading drone training provider, UAVAir advises that those required to reference the Order, such as pilots renewing or writing an Operations Manual as part of their CAA certification process, pay attention to these differences to submit a successful application.

Ben Keene, Operations Director at UAVAir commented "Although the changes in this updated ANO 2016 will not impact all pilots, the subtle differences are very important to those that wish to fly a drone commercially such as our candidates at UAVAir. The revised Order will affect all applicants for a CAA approved drone licence due to the referencing of articles in the ANO that is needed when writing an Operations Manual, as part of their application for PFAW, soon to be PFCO.”

Ben continued, “We have been following the regulations set by the CAA, and up until the date that the ANO 2016 comes into force we have been training our candidates using the existing criteria, but have made our students aware of the imminent changes by issuing a change supplement that outlines the amendments. All training that is conducted after 25th August will be in accordance with ANO 2016.”

The aviation experts at UAVAir clarify that although the term ‘Aerial Work’ has changed to ‘Commercial Operation’, its meaning is, to all intents and purposes, the same as ‘Aerial Work’ in the previous Order. A full description of the term can be found in article 7 of ANO 2016.
Of all the articles that have been retitled, UAVAir highlights those concerning pilots of Unmanned Aircraft Systems as being ANO 2009 articles 138 (endangering the safety of an aircraft), 166 (Small Unmanned Aircraft) and 167 (Small Unmanned Surveillance Aircraft), which are to be renumbered as 241, 94 and 95 respectively.

UAVAir offers a range of bespoke drone training courses to help pilots of all capabilities gain CAA approved certification, ready for commercial flight. For assistance in applying for a PFCO, head to