The UAOC is issued to a organisation or company, not the individual pilot. Individual pilots are required to complete training to a Part 102 level (see above for Professional or classroom based course) by gaining the RPAS Pilot Certificate. The UAOC and RPAS Pilot certificates are separate. One or more pilots may fly for the UAOC organisation. Likewise, it is common for a one person organisation flying for his / her own UAOC
The UAOC has the advantage that it may include exemptions from compliance with the Part 101 rules (think of Part 101 as the general rules for UAV flying), provided procedures covering that activity maintains safety acceptable to CAA. Examples are: flying at night or not gaining permission from landowners. This gives the pilot more scope to carry out a wider range of RPAS activities than they would be if operating under the constraints of the Part 101 rules.
Part 102 is a CAA rule which set out the requirements which must be adhered to be issued a Part 102 operating certificate. Furthermore, it sets out the ongoing obligations to ensure the operator remains compliant with the rule to provide a safe operating environment for the public and other aircraft. These are incorporated into an exposition (which a fancy way of say a series of manuals) It is a live document and therefore should not be viewed as a document which can be ignored once certification is issued.
Examples of what can be included in the exposition are: training for pilots, competency checks, standard operating procedures, specific operating procedures for non 101 operations, reporting and maintenance.
Each UAOC has an expiry date. Typically, they are initially issued for 12 months and following an audit by CAA extended up to 5 years. A renewal process takes place after that usually renewing for 5 year intervals. This is common throughout aviation.
The process takes time and is dependent on how complex each UAV operator’s business is. We cannot say how long this will be until we have a better understanding of the type of operation and what is involved, the time taken to prepare the exposition and CAA processing time. Many variables are involved here. Our recommendation is to allow for at least a few months.
Drone Trust (through Flight Test NZ) provides pilot training, ongoing competency, Part 102 UAOC manual preparation and safety systems. We are experienced in these areas and have a good working relationship with CAA. We are proud of the quality work we do in the RPAS area of aviation. We do not use a “off the shelf, one size fits all” approach as the exposition is unique to your operation.