Since November 2019 there are two steps to go through before you can fly a drone or model aircraft in the UK that’s between 250g to 20kg*:
Firstly, the person that’s responsible for the drone or model aircraft must register to get an operator ID.
Secondly, anyone who will fly must have a certificate of competency which can be obtained by passing an online theory test (but see exemptions below).
It is a requirement that anyone that owns or is responsible for a drone or model aircraft must register to get an operator ID.
You are responsible if you are over eighteen:
You can register for an Operator ID with the BMFA and pay this fee along with your BMFA membership fee, preferably direct to the BMFA who will then forward your registration and payment on to the CAA. The CAA will subsequently notify you of your operator ID.
Alternatively, if this is not possible for whatever reason, then you can pay the £9.00 fee along with your club membership fee which will then be forwarded on to the BMFA.
This is a distinctly different requirement to the operator ID, if you want to fly, irrespective of age then you must pass a theory test or be in possession of a recognised certificate exempting you from taking the test**.
You can take the (exceedingly easy!) BMFA Registration Competency Test by visiting this page.
As the operator is responsible for the aircraft A&DMF would expect any child’s parent or guardian to register for the required operator ID. If the parent or guardian is a BMFA member then their own Operator ID can be used. If the parent or guardian is not a member of the BMFA then the parent or guardian can one by going direct to the CAA and registering themselves for an Operators ID.
Your Operator ID must be displayed on all of your models, it should be visible from the outside, or within a compartment that can easily be accessed without using a tool (such as on the underside of a battery hatch), it must be clear and in block capitals taller than 3mm,and be secure and safe from damage on the main body of the aircraft.
It is a good idea to use a removable label as your operator ID may change when you renew. You’ll will also need to remove your label if you’re no longer responsible for the drone or model aircraft.
Finally, all this was subject to review in June 2020 but the review is on hold because of Covid-19 restrictions so watch this space!
*The only exemptions to this requirement are models only flown indoors, craft under 250grams in weight, control line (tethered) models, and rockets.
**Holders of a BMFA ‘A’ Test or Basic Proficiency Certificate (Helicopter or Fixed Wing, Multi-Rotor or SF), ’Registration Competency’ Certificate.