CAA Drone Law Changed To Hide Information

A recent change to the CAA’s information for the public has meant that it is significantly harder to check the validity of unmanned aircraft operators and has made it significantly harder for operators to prove their validity to the general public.

CAP1361 - What Is It?

CAP1361, in this instance, is the reference certificate the CAA has used to issue this update to pilots and the public. CAP 1361 normally refers to a regularly updated database document of CAA approved commercial pilots who hold an Operational Authorisation (formerly PfCO). 

The CAA has commented on the decision, explaining that: “[the database] has been revoked because not all commercial RPAS operations require a CAA authorisation”. If you wish to confirm whether an Operator holds a current CAA Operational Authorisation please contact: [email protected].

CAA: “[the database] has been revoked because not all commercial RPAS operations require a CAA authorisation”

CAP1361 REMOVED - You Can No Longer Easily Check An Operators Authority!

CAP1361 - How Does This Affect Me?

For pilots, the public database easily allowed members of the public who may be suspicious or unnerved by the site of a drone operator to quickly and easily check whether the pilot is genuine and qualified to be flying in that area. The simplicity of this meant that the information was quickly accessible and as a government authorities database, impartial of validity. 

For the public, it can cause confusion and uncertainty with the validity of a pilot and can be frustrating as they would want to be able to check instantly. With this change, it could take days to confirm the validity of a pilot and by that time, it could be too late to take the appropriate action. 

CAP1361 - Why Have The CAA Done This?

Whilst in some ways, protecting the details of pilots could be seen as a positive to protect a pilots public data, that doesn’t seem to be the reasoning behind the decision. With the change and introduction of the A2 CofC for commercial pilots, it could be too difficult for the CAA to keep track of, and giving information on a case-by-case basis could simplify the process for them. 

However, this seems to disregard the purpose of the document as a quick reference guide to the general public and other members of the drone industry. 

Overall, hiding this information can make those who are already dubious of the drone industry even more suspicious. Whilst the information is still available, individuals shouldn't be forced to jump through hoops to access the information It should be the case that the CAA can provide information for every commercial pilot or pilot flying in the appropriate category. 

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About the Author: DSR Journalist

Henry Greenshields