CAA Approved PfCO Training Course

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CAA Approved PfCO Training Course

£700.00 £500.00 inc. VAT inc. VAT

GBP500 including VAT

Commercial drone training course for pilots looking to gain their PfCO from the CAA.

Gain the skills and knowledge needed to operate a drone commercially and apply for your Permissions for Commercial Operations (PfCO).

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Course Description

The Commercial Remote Pilot Qualification (CRPQ) is a drone training course ideal for new pilots. The course will guide delegates through the process of applying for their Permissions for Commercial Operations (PfCO) from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Using both practical and theoretical exercises, this course delivers a hands-on training experience for drone operators. This comprehensive course teaches delegates how to operate a drone safely and commercially.

3-Day PfCO Theory Course (‘Ground School’)

To gain their PfCO, delegates must first attend a training course with an organisation known as a National Qualified Entity (NQE), such as iRed®. An NQE is a training centre approved by the CAA to deliver commercial drone training.

During the course, delegates will learn the essential skills and knowledge to operate a drone for commercial purposes. Pilots will learn how to navigate the airspace around them, according to CAA regulations.

Course content includes drone operating procedures, air law, airmanship, meteorology, and navigation. Tailored for professional industrial inspections, iRed® courses also provide industry-focused advice and guidance for a wide range of sensors and applications.

At the end of the course, delegates will sit a multiple-choice theory exam.

Operations Manual
Successfully completing the course will give delegates the skills and knowledge to create a CAA-compliant Operations Manual. Your Manual focuses on your specific drone and the operations you are planning to conduct. It will include details of your organisation, your aircraft, and the operating procedures you will follow. Once completed, you can submit your Manual to the iRed® Academy for assessment. Our instructors will then provide guidance and feedback before final submission to the CAA.

Flight Assessment
Once your Operations Manual has been reviewed by our instructors, you can undertake your practical flight assessment. This ensures that you are both competent and confident when operating your aircraft. During the test, delegates will demonstrate the procedures they put in place before, during, and after a drone operation. Pilots can take their flight test up to a year after course completion. We also offer one free re-sit for all flight assessments.

CAA Application
When you have successfully completed both your flight assessment and Operations Manual, we’ll provide you with a ‘letter of recommendation’. You can then submit this, alongside your Manual and CRPQ course Certificate, to the CAA for approval.

Approval of your PfCO can take up to 28 days, and is not guaranteed. However, a ‘letter of recommendation’ from an approved training provider is essential for those applying for a PfCO.

Our drone training courses provide extra insight for commercial drone use, including a variety of applications. As commercial surveyors and inspectors, our instructors have a wealth of knowledge and experience that can’t be found at any other training centre.

Our team can also provide extra guidance for night flying operations – at no extra charge.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a PfCO to fly a drone?
If you’re flying a drone purely as a hobby, and are following the rules and regulations specified by the CAA, you do not need a PfCO. However, if you want to fly a drone for commercial use – which means charging a fee for your work – you will need to gain your Permissions from the CAA in order to operate legally.

Will I gain a PfCO by completing this course?
This course does not automatically provide delegates with their PfCO. Successful completion of the course, including the theory exam, Operations Manual, and flight assessment, means delegates will learn how to operate safely and commercially. Once completed, we’ll provide you with a ‘NQE recommendation’, which you will need to submit alongside your manual and CRPQ Certificate to the CAA for approval.

To find out more about registration fees and the application process, please visit: https://www.caa.co.uk/Commercial-industry/Aircraft/Unmanned-aircraft/Small-drones/Applications-for-unmanned-aircraft-operational-authorisations/

How long does a PfCO take to complete?
On average, delegates take 3-4 weeks to complete the PfCO process.

When can I take my practical flight assessment?
Delegates are only able to attend their flight assessment after their Operations Manual has been submitted and successfully reviewed by our instructors. Flight assessments are included with the course cost and can be taken up until a year after course completion.

What happens if I fail my practical flight assessment?
We offer delegates one free re-sit for all flight assessments – so no need to worry!

Are there any additional costs?
There are additional charges to be made to the CAA. These include an initial application charge* of £250, and a further £190 on annual renewal of your PfCO.
*prices correct as of 2019

Will I need to renew my PfCO?
You will need to renew your PfCO with the CAA annually. However, this process does not involve having to retrain or retake a drone flight test.

Do I need to take a test to fly drones at night?
There are no extra requirements for night flying. Our instructors can provide extra guidance for night flying operations at no additional charge.

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