Since CAP 1763 ushered in the era of extended Flight Restriction Zones (FRZs) to 5km, drone pilots have had a mixed bag of fortunes which making requests from Air Traffic Control (ATCs) Towers. Even after CAA guidance was published in CAP 1788 legitimate operators were still being denied without good reason.
In seeking to further address this the CAA has now created a resouce for reporting uncooperative ATCs which can be found via this link. Drone operators are encouraged to use this resource to hopefully bring a resolution to this issue.
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Somehow drone operators who have done a 3-5 day Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) course seem to think that this has made them experts in all areas of the drone business. Since gaining my PfCO, I have found this extremely amusing. The legal fraternity has long frowned on pro se representation which is the representation of self by describing the client in these cases as fools. The thinking here isn’t whether or not the accused has the legal competence but rather this robs the client of the opportunity for counsel. Former Prime Minister of Barbados Owen Arthur as a trained economist recently stated that as Prime Minister he never advised himself in economic matters but rather acted on the counsel and advice of those he appointed.
The drone industry is no different. It is unlikely that one will be able to specialise in every aspect pertaining to the operations or the regulatory framework. Therefore there is absolutely no harm in getting someone to look over an ops manual renewal before submission to the CAA. No harm in contacting the services of someone to write an operations manual or copying the operations of another business if you find it to be an exemplar.
Likewise, should a drone operator find themselves in legal trouble it is extremely unwise to try to represent self just armed with the knowledge of a few CAPs in the Air Navigation Order.
The counter-argument is always that the operations manual is central to the PfCO business which is true. However, an OM is just that. A document which is supposed to be understood and followed. Therefore as long as one is following their OM they are above board no matter the origin.