The Drone and Model Aircraft Code

For flying drones, model aeroplanes, model gliders, model helicopters, and other unmanned aircraft systems outdoors in the Open A1 and A3 categories
The Drone and Model Aircraft Code published and last updated dates
From: The UK Civil Aviation Authority (opens in a new tab)
Published: October 2019
Last updated: December 2020

Getting an operator ID before you fly (Points 30 to 35)

What to do if you’re a drone or model aircraft operator.

30. The person or organisation that’s responsible for a drone or model aircraft that requires an operator ID must register to get an operator ID

You must be over 18 to register as an operator. If you’re under 18, you’ll need to ask a parent or guardian to register for an operator ID.

Points 31 to 35 set out what you’re responsible for if you’re an operator.

The operator must have an operator ID.

31. Label all your drones or model aircraft with your operator ID

You must label every drone or model aircraft you’re responsible for. You can use the same operator ID for every aircraft.

32. Always make sure that anyone flying your drone or model aircraft has a valid flyer ID

You can do this at the check someone’s registration status service (opens in a new tab).

33. Set out what you expect from anyone who’ll fly your drone or model aircraft and what you’ll be responsible for yourself

If anyone else will fly a drone or model aircraft you’re responsible for, you must tell them:

  • to fly safely and follow this Code when they fly
  • to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for flying
  • what you’ll be responsible for, such as keeping any built-in software up to date
  • what you expect them to do, especially to do with flying and maintaining your aircraft

If several people will fly, such as in a business, club or school, consider writing this information down so that everyone can easily access it.

34. Maintain your drone or model aircraft so that it’s safe to fly

This includes following the manufacturer’s instructions on maintenance and keeping any built-in software (firmware) up to date.

35. Keep your operator ID up to date

Your operator ID will last for 12 months.