Commercial drone operators tighten belts as CAA fee creeps up

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Commercial drone operators in the UK are to shell out more cash in order to remain affiliated with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Speaking to the BBC following the announcement of new government drone regulations, Simon Strickland said that operators are to face up to another fee increase from the specialist aviation regulator.

From April 2018, the CAA will be charging its members an extra 40% to retain their licences.

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In the UK, a commercial drone operator’s licence, the Permission for Commercial Operations, it costs £173 for an initial licence grant and £130 for a renewal, which runs for 12 months from the date of approval.

While Strickland recognises that a renewal rate of for 2017 £180, up from £130, isn’t an unpleasable sum to pay, he commented that it’s the rate of increase that was cause for concern for operators.

Strickland told the BBC: “It’s small scale but when the costs keep going up, compared to the level of service that we get, the two don’t always match.”

The fee hike accompanies the announcement that the CAA has been working with the Department for Transport and the Government to produce a new body of regulations for commercial and consumer drone users.

Tags : CAACivil Aviation AuthorityDragons Eye FilmingDroneregulationsSimon SticklandUAV
Emma Calder

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