The Training….


I am sure you all know to operate commercially you need CAA Permission for Aerial Work, you can only do this is you attend a course with an approved training company.   The industry calls the training company National Qualified Entities (NQEs)

To get the CAA Permission for commercial (PFCO) operation you will go through the following process :-

Ground School , Creation of your FRC’s – Flight Reference Cards, Flight Assessment and submission of Operations Manual (Ops Manual)

When I looked at training companies listed on the CAA website April 2015 there were just four companies listed


EuroUSC LtdResource Group LtdRheinmetall Technical Publications UK Ltd (RTP-UK) and Sky-Futures Ltd.


I contacted all four and only one called me back and that was Resource Group, I spoke to a great guy who gave me, good advice. There was no pressurised sales pitch.

I had no one to ask, was this a good company to go with?   All I could go with was that every single question I had, I wrote down and after two lengthy conversations he answered them. He also responded to my email and so I booked it.

SO really I did not have much choice in my training provider, my thoughts at the time when the training is £1600 or so why did I only get one response? Now if your reading this the likely hood is that you are planning on going on a course to enable you to get your CAA PFAW.   Also the chances are that you will pay less than myself as the market has competition, the chances are more than one person will call you back!

Each training company should be able to take you through all the stages and quote you a price for all the training.

What questions should you be asking?

  • The cost each company tells you the amount but what is covered it is an all in one price? Some break it down you need to know the total cost. Ask does that include the ground school, does that include support whilst creating  the paper work and the flight test?
  • The location. This could mean extra costs, overnight hotels or distant travel. The training days are very full you need to be well rested.
  • Where will I take my flight test? Is there more than one site available with the training company to take the test.
  • Will I have a dedicated flight instructor?
  • How soon can I be qualified? This is a tricky one, because that very much depends on you and how quick you work and how much support you get from the trainers.
  • How many people fail the ground school? People do believe me, is there a cost to re-siting ground school exam?
  • How much to re-sit the flight test? If you fail, which could happen if you don’t have the time to practice flying.

Taken from the CAA Website correct as of 5/3/2016

At the present time there are no RPA pilot licenses recognised in aviation law. However, it is essential that pilots of any aircraft have at least a basic understanding of the applicable regulations, in particular the Air Navigation Order and Rules of the Air Regulations. Therefore, the CAA will require a potential RPA operator to demonstrate pilot competence before any operating permission is issued.

There are a variety of means of demonstrating pilot competence, the most common being to complete a course where the applicant demonstrates the necessary skills and knowledge by passing a ground exam and flight test. The CAA does not run these courses directly but instead approves commercial National Qualified Entities (NQEs) to conduct the training and assessment on the CAA’s behalf.

CAA approved NQEs:

  • 3iC Ltd
  • Aerial Motion Pictures
  • Atec-3D – Restricted
  • Cambridge UAV
  • Commercial Drone Training Ltd
  • Cyberhawk – Restricted
  • Drone Pilot Academy Ltd – 1360
  • EuroUSC Ltd
  • Heliguy
  • Hexca, – Restricted
  • Resource Group Ltd
  • Sky-Futures Ltd
  • The Great Circle
  • UAV Air (ways)
  • Whispercam
  • Cyberhawk – Restricted
  • The Aerial Academy (Hexcam) – Restricted 
  • UAV8 Ltd

So that is 20 training companies now, which shows you how the industry is growing, how much demand there is for training but also means a lot of people securing their CAA PFCO. As they always say don’t focus on what others are doing, but what you are doing and how you are doing it.  If you have decided to get your CAA PFCO, go for it!  I can’t say you won’t look back, because you will be looking backwards, forwards  upwards and all ways round!



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