The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has published the response to a consultation on the proposed fee for the Drone Registration and Education Scheme (DRES) outlining the reasons for the fee change.
Originally, the proposed fee for annual registration was £16.50, which was then changed to £9.00 following pressure from the industry.
The consultation period ran from April 26 to June 7, 2019, opening the proposed fee up to feedback from the industry but the exact details of the feedback received were only made public earlier this month.
During the consultation period, the CAA received over 11,000 responses from the model aircraft community and drone hobbyists regarding the proposed fee.
In the new report, the CAA details the feedback they received to the initial fee proposed including the suggestion by model aircraft association members that they should be recognised as existing operators.
The report reads: “Members of BMFA, LMA, FPV and SAA will have to register and pay the fee but will be able to do so through their respective association.
“Following the initial trial, we will consider extending this arrangement in subsequent iterations of the scheme.”
After assessing the responses, the report adds, the CAA then identified savings in the projected running costs allowing them to reduce the fee.
“The CAA does not seek to profit from the scheme’s charges, but to recover running costs to enable its long-term sustainability and to cover improvements, to be defined in accordance with user feedback,” the report continued.
The estimated running costs for the service from November 5, when preregistration opened, until March 31, 2020 are estimated at £724k, with an ongoing annual cost of approximately £1.01m following that period.