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How to Update Your Operations Manual: A Step-By-Step Guide

Compliance statement change.

The CAA have changed the compliance statement to the following;

All operations will be carried out in accordance with the issued Operational Authorisation PDRA-01 and abide by the requirements of UAS Implementing Regulation 2019/947 (as retained in UK Law), its AMC (Acceptable Means of Compliance) and ANO 2016/765 or ANO 2016 as amended.

Introduction

For drone operators flying in the Specific Category, a current Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Operations Manual isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. An updated manual serves as your roadmap for meeting CAA regulations and fast-tracks your operational authorisation process. Here’s why you need to keep it up-to-date and how it simplifies your CAA assessment.

Why Keeping Your Manual Updated is Crucial

Legal Compliance and Risk Management

An outdated manual can make you inadvertently non-compliant, leading to fines or even the suspension or revocations of your OA.
Flying drones in the Specific Category involves higher risk factors such as) operations or flights over  populated areas. An updated manual integrates the latest CAA regulations and safety protocols, helping you mitigate these risks effectively.

Risk Assessment 

Cap 722H

The CAA has recently released its updated version of CAP722H. Whys is this important I hear you say? Well by operating under your PDRA01 OA, you are bound by the terms in that risk assessment. After all that’s why it’s called a pre-defined risk assessment.  Although it has a clunky approach with a numbering system, you need to read and understand the mitigations, so that you are fully aware of your obligations. 

Overflight

Does the bubble still exist?

Many people still believe that overflight has been removed, but this is not the case.
You can still overfly uninvolved people (not crowds) as long as you use the 50m bubble and ensure a safe flight can be made. So the bubble lives on!

Whilst you can overfly uninvolved people, the CAA want remote pilots to avoid this where possible and keep it an absolute minimum. The official statement is as follows Any overflight of uninvolved people must be kept to a minimum.  If you look at CAP722H, mitigations M8,M9 and M25, these will show you this in more detail. 

Why have I been rejected? 

On- Hold Notices 

Whilst it can be very frustrating to get your application put on hold, it’s worth noting that this isn’t a rejection. The CAA are just telling you that your manual isn’t compliant and they will outline the issues with the manual itself. 

They will list any issues and give you 14 days to reply with an updated manual.  
When you re-submit, you will need to have up-issued the manual to the next version.  For example if your submission was V1.0, then your new one should be dated the date of the amendment and V1.1 or however you version your documents. 

Once you have resubmitted, the CAA should issue your OA (Operational Authorisation) within a couple of days. 

Apply for your CAA Operational Authorisation here: https://applications.caa.co.uk/CAAPortal/servlet/SmartForm.html?formCode=UAS

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