As I’m sure you are all aware, on 30 May 2018, the United Kingdom Government published an amendment to the UK Air Navigation Order 2016 (ANO) which contained its changes to the law regarding the operation of small unmanned aircraft.

The Civil Aviation Authority issued guidance for all model aircraft/drone operators. The amendment is entitled ‘The Air Navigation (Amendment) Order 2018’-Guidance for small unmanned aircraft users.

This can be found at:

Some articles (parts) of the amendment come into force on 30 July 2018, and others are coming into force on 30 November 2019.

Effective from 30 July 2018 - A 400ft operating height limitation (from the point of take off) for all small unmanned aircraft weighing 7kg (15.4lbs) or less and a new limitation on the closest distance that small unmanned aircraft weighing 7kg (15.4lbs) or less may be flown near specific types of aerodrome (any model aircraft flying within 1km of the boundary of a licensed airfield, at any height, will have to be with the permission of the airfield air traffic control or airfield operator).

Effective from 30 November 2019 - Registration of Small Unmanned Aircraft operators and a requirement to test the competency of remote pilots. Specific requirements have not yet been published but may be similar to the current requirements of some UK model flying associations such as the BMFA ‘A’ certificate.

You may also be aware that, as of yesterday, the CAA issued the BMFA, SAA, LMA & FPVUK with a joint ‘Permission’ to allow their members to continue operating ‘conventional’ model aircraft (excluding multi-rotors) weighing less than 7Kg at heights in excess of 400ft. The CAA has also issued an ‘Exemption’ to allow the members of these associations to operate ‘conventional’ model aircraft (excluding multi-rotors) weighing less than 3.5Kg at heights up to 1000ft using First Person View.

The Hemel Hempstead Model Flying Club has been proud to be known as an independent model flying club, not associated with any UK associations nor restricted by their rules, regulations or flying competency certifications.

The new law does mean that from 30th July 2018 any member of the Hemel Hempstead Model Flying Club who are not currently a member of either the BMFA, SAA, LMA or FPVUK will have to abide by the new legal ceiling of 400ft. It is the responsibility of each individual member to conform to the UK Law and ensure that they do not fly above 400ft, using whatever means available including modern telemetry and computer aided alarms.

Please be assured the committee has been looking into the future of our club and what is best going forward to ensure that any further laws that will inevitably be introduced do not restrict its members any more that those associated with UK association bodies.

If you have any questions or concern with regards to the new law, or if you require further clarification if it applies to you and what you need to do please do not hesitate to contact a member of the committee who will be able to discus this personally with you.

Eddie White

Chairman - HHMFC