The British Model Flyers Association (BFMA) has released a statement promising to fight any future fee increases as part of the Drone Registration and Education Scheme (DRES) due to be implemented as of November 30th, 2019.
Since the scheme was announced 2 years ago, the original proposed fee of £16.50 was lowered to £9.00, following pressure from the BFMA and other groups.
The statement by BFMA chairman, Ian Pallister, reads: “There has been speculation amongst some members that the £9 fee could increase significantly in future years if the number of registrations falls well short of Government predictions. There is no indication that this will happen.
“Indeed, the CAA has already scaled down its expectation of the number of initial registrations. However, the Associations will fight tooth and nail to oppose any increase in fees, which would be unsustainable (and also contrary to the direction of the current Transport Secretary).”
The BFMA had widely opposed the introduction of the DRES scheme, fighting against the proposed annual registration fee.
“We accept that appropriate education, and knowledge of the laws that affect model flying is a good thing for all model flyers whatever their interests,” Pallister continued.
“That is the very reason that appropriate extracts are included in the Members’ Handbook and mandatory questions on the Air Navigation Order are part of our Achievement Scheme tests.”
The statement went on to once again reaffirm that the BFMA believes DRES to be a costly solution that is disproportionate to the membership’s activity and at odds with the secretary of state for transport, Grant Shapps, goal of making the UK the best country in the world for aviation.
He concluded: “To those contemplating giving up your lifelong passion I would urge you not to be too hasty.
“Like it or not, the march of technology is unstoppable and our aim is to ensure that model flying can continue as freely as possible as the lower airspace becomes ever more crowded and regulated.”