The CAA Have Changed The Format of Operator ID’s - How Does This Affect You?

Drone pilots across the country are keeping an eye on their inboxes as they await the dreaded email from the CAA informing them of changes to their Operator ID.

Learn how this new format change from the CAA affects your drone operations in 2021 and beyond!

What Is The Operator ID?

Anyone who is responsible for a drone or model aircraft weighing more than 250g or which has a camera must register with the CAA for an Operator ID.

After you've registered, you'll receive an Operator ID number along with your registration certificate.

Your Operator ID must be shown on any of your drones and model aircraft and the same Operator ID number should be used.

CAA Changes to the Operator ID

As of October 2021, the Civil Aviation Authority has decided to no longer extend the use of the original format of Operator Identifications.

The initial format used was introduced in November 2019 with a simple yet effective system of 7 characters following the initial OP format.

Old Operator ID Format: OP-5JU84FV

With this new update from the CAA, the Operator ID utilises a new 12 character alphanumeric format.

New Operator ID Format: GBR-OP-BAZ4DH6GJ88T

Thanks to this new change from the CAA there are 4,738,381,338,321,620,000 different combinations available…

Not quite enough to uniquely identify every grain of sand on the planet estimated to be around 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 grains!

Interestingly, the original Operator ID system of 7 alphanumeric characters maxed out at 78,364,164,096, which appears to offer more than enough possible combinations.

CAA Changes To Operator IDs

How To Renew Your Operator ID

You will be prompted by email when it is time to renew your Operator ID with the CAA. 

Operator ID’s are renewed at the cost of £9.00 and are valid for an entire year. Operators can renew their Operator ID up to a month before it expires.

Before you get started on renewing, ensure you have a debit or credit card and any relevant insurance information.

How Does Drone Safe Register Help?

At Drone Safe Register, we understand how frustrating this change can be for both hobbyist and commercial drone operators.

That’s why we’re providing you with all the tools you need to be able to fly within the law!

This newly implemented CAA regulation means that you’ll need to change the labels on your drone with your new Operator ID.

You can purchase branded and updated Operator ID stickers within your Drone Safe Register member’s dashboard.

For non-Drone Safe Register members, you can purchase them from the Drone Safe Register Shop.

It’s important to remember that you need to update your Operator ID number on your Drone Safe Register profile. Make sure to take the time to ensure your Flyer ID is correct too!

This change to regulation by the CAA appears frustrating and pointless to many. Fortunately, this appears to be a one-off change to future proof the administration side of Operator ID’s.

Remember to keep an eye on your inbox!

CAA Changes To Operator IDs

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About the Author: DSR Journalist

Henry Greenshields