2022 Membership open from the 1st December 2021. Club fees remain the same while the BMFA have slightly increased their fees.
From the BMFA 17th May 2021
Following a ‘strategic review of model flying’ which the CAA completed earlier this year, they took the decision that each model flying Association would be issued with its own specific Article 16 Authorisation (rather than the combined one which came into effect on 31st December).
As such, the BMFA has now been issued with a revised Article 16 Authorisation for the benefit of its members, which is effective immediately (from 17 May 2021).
The key changes include removal of age limits for remote pilots, changes to the separation distances for FPV flying, the facility for the BMFA to authorise Model Flying Display Permits and the facility for the BMFA to issue BMFA Site Permits to its Clubs (both of which may include the operation of model aircraft up to 25Kg at heights above 400ft). The Permit processes replace the previous CAA requirements for Display Authorisations and Exemptions and responsibility for these areas has now been delegated to the BMFA.
There is a lot of information to digest, but to assist with this we have produced an updated ‘Quick Start Guide’ which can be viewed at https://rcc.bmfa.uk/article-16/quick-start-guide . We have also updated the detailed guide which can be viewed at https://rcc.bmfa.uk/article-16 (the downloadable version highlights any changes with sidebars), where you can also access the updated Article 16 Authorisation document.
It has been a long and intensive process to arrive at this point, as the CAA would not sign off on our revised Authorisation until we had fully developed our documentation and systems to administer the new Permit procedures to their satisfaction.
All of this will be supported by the updated BMFA Member’s Handbook which we hope to publish later this week.
However, for most members and Clubs very little has changed in practical terms and it remains a case of ‘business as usual’.
26th March – from the BMFA:
The regulations surrounding the easing of restrictions from Monday 29th March have been released.
Model flying club sites can reopen from Monday 29th March.
Where a club is operating in a COVID secure manner and has implemented the BMFA 6 Steps to Covid security guidance in full (see https://clubsupport.bmfa.uk/6-steps-to-covid-secure ) the gathering limits (Rule of 6) do NOT apply.
It is important to note that after conducting the required COVID risk assessment that a club may need to implement a restriction on numbers to enable the correct social distancing.
For model flying activity outside of the control of a model flying club the gathering limits still apply.
21st March 2021 – GOOD NEWS…!!! We hope our flying site will soon be open again…
Following the Governments latest update with regards to travel and the opening of outside sports and leisure facilities alongside the BMFA recommendations and with the support of our landlord the club will hope to reopen on Tuesday 30th March. This is dependant of Government decisions nearer the time.
PLEASE REMEMBER WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO FLY ON GOOD FRIDAY (April 2nd).
This rule forms part of our planning permission (no flying on Bank Holidays).
The following points need to be adhered to for flying at MRM:
- This opening still needs to be done with caution and mainly common sense, so we need to keep to the social distancing policy and hand hygiene. The need for contact tracing remains.
- The flying site has changed and the extension we created last year is now fully grassed and can be used.
- There is now a new pilot’s box. This has been cut in the middle of the new strip, it is also larger to help with social distancing… Please use it.
- Only 4 Pilots will be able to fly at any one time.
- When landing from the car park end, the strip is now in line with the chimney at the Hall Place Vets, please do not fly to the right of the chimney as it will be out of bounds.
- You will need to make sure that you bring alcohol gel or wipes with you. If you open the gate, clean the lock down and anything you may touch.
- Wear gloves if you can and if you want, a facemask / covering.
- If you, or someone in your household, are feeling unwell do not go to MRM flying field.
- We may need to shut again at short notice in-line with Government recommendations.
- Above all fly safe, be safe and use common sense.
We look forward to seeing you all down there, please enjoy the club facilities but at the same time use common sense while out and about.
BMFA – COVID-19 REGULATIONS UPDATE 26-2-2021
The signs for a return to the skies in England soon are looking promising. The Government COVID-19 Response -Spring 2021 indicates that clubs should be able to re-open from March 29th. There may also be the possibility for some flying in public open spaces from March 8th; however, this will very much depend on the details contained within the regulations that sit behind the roadmap, which have yet to be released. We will be corresponding with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to push for clarity and a return to flying as soon as possible. We will make a further statement once the situation is clearer.
12th January 2021 – Declaration of understanding of our Article 16 Authorisation
There is a requirement on the BMFA to ensure, as far as is reasonably possible, that all members who operate within the authorisation have read and understood the terms of our Authorisation if they wish to operate within it, any member choosing to operate within of our authorisation should make this declaration. There are 3 options to make the declaration.
- Log in to the BMFA Go Membership Portal at https://bmfa.azolve.com/ and from your Member Profile click on Opt-Ins and Tick the declaration box.
- Make the declaration to your club administrators who can update the declaration box on your behalf if they are prepared to do so.
- Call the BMFA Office to make the declaration and the staff will update the declaration on your behalf.
Please note: Any member using an Achievement Scheme certificate obtained before 31/12/2020 as their evidence of Remote Pilot competence must make this declaration to be lawful.
Restrictions update 5th January 2021
Following the announcement by the Prime Minister re placing the Country into a tier 5 lockdown we have had to close the Club until further notice. We hope that the roll out of the vaccine will enable the restrictions to be lifted in time for the better weather.
Restrictions update 22nd December 2020
From the BMFA:
There is no change that affects model aircraft flying in Tiers 1, 2 and 3 in England since our last update on 4/12/2020. See https://bmfa.org/News/News-Page/ArticleID/2703/COVID-19-Regulations-Update-4-12-2020
However, the Government have introduced a fourth Tier which currently covers London and much of the South East and a number of other areas.
In the new Tier 4 the instruction is that you must stay at home, apart from a limited number of exceptions. One of those exceptions is “to visit a public outdoor place for the purposes of open air recreation” and the definition of a public outdoor place includes “outdoor sportsgrounds or sports facilities” and therefore it is possible for model flying clubs to remain open and for model aircraft flying to take place within the regulations.
However, the regulations restrict an outdoor gathering at outdoor sportsgrounds or sports facilities to a maximum of two people in Tier 4 areas. Clubs should carefully consider what steps they need to take to ensure that no more then two people gather together, or whether it is advisable to have more than two people at the site at any one time.
Club membership, BMFA membership and CAA fees remain the same for 2021.
November 2nd: Subject to a coming vote in Parliament it is most likely that the Government will impose another period of lockdown starting Thursday 5th November at 00.01. Guidance has been issued by the BMFA which means the Club will be closed from then until further notice.
New government rules are that: “From Monday 14 September, you must not meet with people from other households socially in groups of more than 6. This will apply indoors and outdoors, including in private homes.”
In order to comply with this and avoid unnecessary attention from others using the lane we need to make sure there are no more than 6 members up at the strip at any one time.
To keep this simple the following rules will apply until government guidance changes:
- When you arrive, stop by the gate and look down to the car park and pits area to see if there are already 6 people present.
- If there are 6 people there you can either go home, wait in your car until someone leaves or walk down the lane and ask over the stile if anyone is likely to be off soon.
We hope it goes without saying that if you have been flying for a couple of hours and someone is waiting then the collegiate thing to do would be to pack up.
We would also ask that those who have the luxury of being able to fly anytime, either avoid obvious busy periods such as Saturday and Sunday morning
or be prepared to exit promptly if it gets busy.
This is so that those who are still working and can only fly evenings and weekends can get their flying fix.
Previous advice on not coming to the strip if you are unwell, keeping your distance and bringing your own hand sanitizer remains in place.
We have now reopened the Club to experienced members who are able to fly unaided. We have social distancing and hygiene measures in place. Sadly we are unable to offer training or model set-up assistance at the present time though we do hope to be able to continue these in the hopefully near future.
23rd March 2020: Following the announcement by the Prime Minister of much tougher regulations we regret that the Club will remain closed for the duration of said regulations. The Committee wish you all well and look forward to meeting up on the other side of what is an historic occurrence.
February 20th 2020: The CAA have issued an exemption (E5006) to article 94D (No: 1345. Published 17th Feb 2020).
Certain small unmanned aircraft: requirement for registration as SUA operator
94D.—(1) This article applies to a flight by a small unmanned aircraft only if it has a mass of 250 grams or more without its fuel but including any articles or equipment installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of its flight.
(2) The SUA operator must not cause or permit the small unmanned aircraft to be flown unless—
(a) the CAA has issued the SUA operator with a certificate of registration which is valid for that flight at the time of the flight, and
(b) the SUA operator’s registration number is displayed on the aircraft in the manner (if any) that is prescribed.
(3) The remote pilot of the small unmanned aircraft must not fly it unless the remote pilot has reasonably formed the view that the SUA operator complies with the requirements in paragraph (2) in relation to that flight.
(4) In this article—
“certificate of registration” means a certificate issued under article 94C;
“registration number” means the ten digit registration number assigned by the CAA in relation to an SUA operator’s registration under article 94C.
This lasts until 30th June 2020 and supersedes 1332 which is revoked.
Weekend the 25th January – Club deadline for processing CAA operator ID numbers via BMFA membership renewal. We will still process the CAA application via the BMFA for you but if it misses the BMFA bulk upload to the CAA at the end of January then the next upload will not be until the end of February. This means you will be unable to fly at our site, or anywhere else, legally from the 23rd February until such time that the CAA issues you an operator number. Please note: when renewing via bank transfer you are agreeing to abide by the rules and regulations of the CAA, the BMFA and Maidenhead Radio Modellers.
14th December – Memberships now available for 2020
28th November – you may no longer fly at our Club Site unless you have either a BMFA ‘A’ certificate (or above) or have obtained a Flyer ID from either the BMFA (preferred) or the CAA. There is no charge for obtaining this.
25th November – update – this copied from the BMFA website:
‘There appears to be a considerable amount of myth and misinformation circulating about the status of the exemptions issued by the CAA including those which recognise BMFA Achievements and exempt members from registering as Operators by the 30th November (and doing it instead as part of their BMFA Membership Renewal). Full details of the CAA exemptions can be found at www.be-lawful.bmfa.org.
Concern has been expressed by some that the exemptions are only effective until June 2020. There is however a very clear rationale for this, because the current arrangements are an interim measure which have been put in place to comply with the UK laws which come into effect on the 30th November.
However, the CAA are committed to working with us to align with the new EU regulations and put in place a permanent Authorisation which sets out and agrees our longer-term arrangements – with effect from June 2020. It is therefore anticipated that the exemptions will become redundant at that point and the existing terms will be incorporated into our Authorisation. In the event that this is not resolved by June, then the CAA will simply re-issue the current exemptions.
Some members have expressed concern that registering with the CAA via the BMFA means that they will not be issued with a CAA Flyer I.D. The simple reason for this is that our members don’t need one! The CAA issue a Flyer I.D. solely to confirm that someone has taken their online test. Members with an existing achievement (including the new Registration Competency Certificate) are exempted from this requirement.
For members registering via the BMFA, the CAA will email them their Operator I.D. in early February which they should then display in an easily accessible location on or within their aircraft. Members are exempted from the requirement to display an Operator number until 23rd February 2020.
Some members have expressed concern that the Police may not accept BMFA documents. However, this is speculation with no basis in fact. We understand that the Police are being briefed on acceptable forms of documentation this week and all Associations have been asked to provide examples.
What we have arrived at is a very simple way for many of our members to comply with the law. For those with an achievement (including the new Registration Competency Certificate), the only requirement is to pay the additional £9 CAA fee (don’t forget that we succeeded in getting this fee almost halved from the original £16.50 – for the benefit of everyone). We are also in a position to assist those members without an existing Achievement (or in some cases internet access) to comply with the law with the help of their club.
We need the support of our members to make this work. If insufficient numbers utilise the concessions we have secured, then they are perhaps less likely to be available to us in the longer-term solutions we agree with the CAA from June 2020 onwards.
The whole process is very simple whichever route you take, so you can choose to register directly with the CAA or you can choose to register via the BMFA and help strengthen our position in upcoming negotiations’.
Please note: If you would like the Club to renew your BMFA membership and the CAA registration then you must have an email address and a date of birth on the BMFA Club Membership site (the CAA requires this as part of their verification process). If you are unable to update your details we are willing to do it for you. If you receive emails from the club we would just need a date of birth (if you haven’t already provided it if you are a reasonably new member). In supplying us with the info you agree to us adding it to your BMFA held data. The CAA registration will be an additional £9.00 to be added to the BMFA membership.
18th November – BMFA competency test now available from link below (rcc.bmfa.uk) – click on Competency tab.
No charge for the test. This will exempt you from having to take the CAA test if you do not have an ‘A’ Certificate. Test will be available to Examiners and Clubs in printed form for those unable to access the internet. BMFA have promised more detail in the coming days.
From the BMFA: ‘We suggest you advise your members not to rush to register, the registration for those that register via the BMFA will not expire until early February 2021, expiry for those that register with the CAA directly will be 12 months from the date of registration’.
9th November – latest updates and advice from the BMFA regarding the new regulations:
5th November 2019 – latest registration info from BMFA:
28th October – Statement from Chairman of BMFA re DRES ( drone regulation and education scheme):
CAA registration updates 21st and 23rd October 2019:
The latest update (October 11th 2019) regarding the new CAA regulations can be found in the news section of the BMFA website. A short extract: The general principle adopted by the EASA team was to keep reference to model flying to a minimum within the AMC/GM documents on the basis that (with the exception of registration) model flying conducted within the framework of Associations is outside the scope of their regulations and details should be agreed at national level.
If you would like to find out more, the CAA have produced CAP1789 which is a useful guide to the EU regulations (which are likely to be followed from July 2020) and the CAA’s summary is far easier to digest than the original EU documents. You can find CAP1789 here: http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP1789%20EU%20UAS%20Regulations-Guidance.pdf
Thanks to everyone who took part in Members Day at White Waltham. A good day was had by all.
BMFA website has an August 23rd 2019 update re the new Drone Registration
26th April 2019 – Drone Registration Update
IMPORTANT – consultation closes 7th June 2019
Please read the latest proposals from the CAA. The BMFA are encouraging members to respond.
22nd February 2019 – Drone Regulation Update. Following extensive enquiries and discussions with the BMFA we are happy to report that the new regulations that come into force next month (13th March) do not have an effect on our flying site. The proposed 2.5nm radius around White Waltham is now 2nm and, as such, we are just outside it. We are seeking agreement with White Waltham to allow us to continue to fly should the distance be increased to 2.5nm which would put us on the edge/just inside of the FRZ (flight restriction zone). Please note that the maximum height is now 400 feet above the surface everywhere and applies to uav’s from 250g up to 20kg. The BMFA website has further details and definitive advice / interpretations of the new regulations.
24th February: we are now in receipt of a letter from White Waltham stating that they are aware of our activities and have no objection to us continuing in the future.
Following the AGM it was agreed to raise the senior membership by £4 (from £66 to £70) to reflect the increase in field rent. 2019 subs are now due.
This years AGM will be on Thursday the 6th of December. Please see email for further details.
BMFA membership for 2019 – Senior £38, Junior £17, Family Senior £38, Family Partner £25, Family Junior £13
Interesting articles in the latest BMFA News (October 2018) page8 and 49 regarding the recent changes to UK regulations.
Latest ‘drone’ consultation – Reponses before 17th September 2018 https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/drone-legislation-use-restrictions-and-enforcement
Update on 400ft height limit: https://www.bmfa.org/News/News-Page/ArticleID/2533/Update-on-changes-to-UK-Regulations-and-the-400ft-height-limit
Friday 13th July – Visit to UK by the President Of The United States: There is an exclusion zone (notam) which is a transit corridor running from Sandhurst to Chequers. This covers our flying site and is active between 10.00am and 11.30am so no models may be flown before 11.30am.
Tuesday 10th July 2018 – RAF Anniversary Flypast: There is an exclusion zone (notam) for this event which means no models may be flown between 11.50 and 12.30 UTC. We are expecting to see (hopefully) or at least hear some elements of the fast jet group as they transit Windsor and Maidenhead.
Royal Wedding Saturday 19th May 2018: There is an exclusion zone (notam) around Windsor from 5.00am Saturday until 5.00am Sunday. It includes our flying site. There will be no flying of any models this Saturday. We have applied for an exception though as of Thursday evening have not had a reply. You will receive an e-mail explaining the situation. Should permission be granted before the event we will let you know by email.
2018 Membership renewal now due – Club membership remains the same – a £1.00 increase in the BMFA Senior and Family partner price.
New members welcome and spaces available for 2018.
September 2017 – 2017 BMFA Handbook now available online at: www.bmfa.org
Proposed EASA UAS Prototype Rules: The Committee are keeping ‘an eye’ on how these develop. It seems that, at present, clubs such as ours would be exempt under Article 15 and that the BMFA (presumably) would issue an operational authorisation.
Article 15 Transitional provisions. For recreational operations of UA, such as leisure flights, air displays, sport or competition activities, conducted in the frame of associations or clubs with proven satisfactory safety records and performed under national systems before this Regulation enters into force, the following transitional provisions shall apply: 1. By [3 years after entry into force of this Regulation — estimate 2020], the competent authority shall issue operational authorisations to associations or clubs for the operations which would otherwise require an authorisation according to Subpart B of Annex I to this Regulation. 2. An operational authorisation can be issued without the need to conduct the operational risk assessment referred to in UAS.SPEC.60. 3. Operational authorisations issued under this Article shall define the conditions, limitations and deviations from the requirements of Subpart B of Annex I to this Regulation. The proposals can be found at: https://www.easa.europa.eu/easa-and-you/civil-drones-rpas
Club rules updated March 2017.