It’s important for those who wish to operate drones to realize that many countries require operators to have current qualifications. For example, England has legally-enforceable laws covering UAV usage, including requirements regarding qualifications and licensing. Read This if You Want to be a UAV Operator in England; it will lay out some of the basics of qualifications, training, licensing, and more.
Novice UAV operators have their work cut out for them if they want to be able to fly their drones safely and legally. The first step they should take is to enroll in a training program that covers flight laws and restrictions, pre-launch, motor controls and maneuvering, maintenance, and licensing. The training course should also feature a flight test and offer certification for those who pass it.
Be sure that the training program is in compliance with regulations put in place by the Civil Aviation Authority and that the certification students receive after passing their flight tests are recognized by this organization. There are also testing centers that offer globally-honored qualification certificates, though these are not required in the UK.
Theory and Operational Assessments
Novice UAV operators will need to be able to pass both theoretical and operational assessments before they can be certified. The written tests designed to evaluate student knowledge tend to include subjects such as flight regulations, flight safety, navigation, pre-launch planning, and in-flight controls and procedures and must be passed before a student can complete an operational assessment. Students who are undergoing operational assessments must demonstrate full competency in flying and prove that he or she has a literal mastery of all the concepts covered by the theoretical assessment.
After the Exam
Once students have passed their theoretical and operational assessments, they can apply for operational permits from the CAA. They should expect to send in both their licenses obtained from testing facilities and insurance information and will likely have to pay a processing fee as well. It can take up to two months for students to obtain their permits, which are then valid for one year.
Permit holders are generally required to record flight hours and to submit their log books for review. This is to ensure that they are maintaining their operational skills.