Extra information : Getting a flyer ID and operator ID before you fly (Points 22 to 27)
Two things are needed before flying a drone or model aircraft between 250g and 20kg:
- the person who will fly must pass the theory test to get a flyer ID
- the person or organisation that’s responsible for the drone or model aircraft, must register to get an operator ID
If you want to fly and are also responsible for a drone or model aircraft, you’ll need to pass the test to get a flyer ID and register to get an operator ID.
22. You must pass the theory test to get a flyer ID before you fly
Children and adults must take the test – there is no age limit.
Children under 13
Children under 13 must have a parent or guardian with them when they take the test to get their flyer ID.
Drones or model aircraft that weigh less than 250g
You do not need to pass the test before flying a drone or model aircraft below 250g.
Flying indoors or in a netted area
You do not need to pass the test if you will only ever fly indoors or in a securely netted area.
Other types of drone or model aircraft flying
You'll need to get permission from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) or an organisation acting on its behalf if you want to do either of the following:
- fly a drone or model aircraft that is above 20kg
- legally fly outside the rules in this Code
The type of permission you need depends on:
- the size and type of drone or model aircraft you want to fly
- where you want to fly
- how high you want to fly
- whether you want to fly for a hobby or for commercial reasons
You can find out more about permissions and exemptions at the Civil Aviation Authority website (opens in a new window).
Permissions that come with membership of a club or association
In some cases, being a member of a recognised club or association gives you additional flying permissions. For example, you may be able to fly in an area that is normally restricted.
Check with your club or association before you fly.
Flying for commercial reasons
If you want to fly for commercial reasons, you’ll need to get a permission from the CAA.
Commercial means using a drone or model aircraft in return for payment in any way. For example, if someone pays you to record or take photos of an event.
If you already have a permission, such as a PfCO (permission for commercial operations) you may be exempt from taking the test until 30 Dec 2021, General Exemption E 5093 (opens in a new window).
Flying where there is an airport – within the flight restriction zone
If you want to fly a drone or model aircraft at or near an airport, you must get permission from the airport first.
You can get more information about how to do this at the DroneSafe website (opens in a new window).
23. You must take the theory test every three years
Your flyer ID will last for three years.
24. The person or organisation that’s responsible for a drone or model aircraft must register to get an operator ID
You must be over 18 to do this.
If you’re under 18, you’ll need to ask a parent, guardian or other appropriate adult to register.
Who is responsible for a drone or model aircraft
The law says that the person or organisation that ‘has the management of’ a drone or model aircraft is its operator.
This will usually be the person or organisation that owns it. That’s not always the case. For example, if someone under 18 owns a drone or model aircraft, they can’t be the operator.
25. Label your drone or model aircraft with your operator ID
Use the same operator ID to label every drone or model aircraft you’re responsible for.
26. Make sure that anyone flying your drone or model aircraft has a valid flyer ID
27. Keep your operator ID up to date
Your operator ID will last for 12 months.