How do I get a PfCO?

Permission for Commercial Operation

A PfCO (or Permission for Commercial Operation) is the piece of paper you need to operate a drone commercially in UK airspace . Until August 2016 this was known as a Permission for Aerial Work (PFAW).

We have simplified the process that the average person takes to attaining their Permission for Commercial Operation from the CAA. The steps are outlined below.

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1. BOOK COURSE

Click here to book online or call us on 01491 526 700.

 

2.  ICARUS THEORY (ICARUS STANDARD COURSE)

ICARUS Theory Course (Ground School) + Theory Exam = 2 Days

or

    ICARUS THEORY  (ICARUS PRO COURSE)

ICARUS Theory Course (Ground School) + Theory Exam + Night Approval Course + Flight Test Demonstration = 3 Days

 

3. OPERATIONS MANUAL (Independent)

Candidate written Operations Manual with support and guidance from ICARUS Team. 

The completion of your Operations Manual is a legal requirement by the CAA, it is your risk assessment for your Commercials Operations. ICARUS are here to help you every step of the way,  they will supply a copy of the CAA Operations Manual Template as a starting point for writing the document yourself, free of charge. A full copy of our Company's Operations Manual will be available to view during the course. 

or

   OPERATIONS MANUAL (Optional Purchase) 

Bespoke written Operations Manual created for candidate through partnered company OSC (Open Sky Consulting = £299 inc. VAT with discounted price in conjunction with ICARUS Course booking.  However the Operations Manual is included in cost of the ICARUS PRO COURSE. 

 
Key Points Vital to obtain a PfCO. Fly ICARUS will help you. Or you can purchase from Open Sky Consulting.
 

4. COMMERCIAL PILOT INSURANCE

Pilot Insurance in place for Operational Evaluation, once Operations Manual has been signed off by the ICARUS Team. 

We recommend Coverdrone + Moonrock for Insurance - call to receive a quote. 

 
 
 

5. OPERATIONAL EVALUATION

The Operational Evaluation Flight Test takes place once the Operations Manual has been signed off by the ICARUS Team. Each candidate is required to contact the office to arrange a mutually convenient date and they will receive the relevant documentation for their OE. During the Operational Evaluation, you should expect a couple of emergencies to be given to you at some point by the examiner and you will need to demonstrate that you are reasonably comfortable flying your aircraft in ‘ATTI’ mode.

 
Key Points You will receive a job request. Plan it as if it were real. Fully brief the examiner. Fly your aircraft in GPS & ATTI. Be prepared for 'emergencies'.
 

6.  SUBMISSION TO THE CAA

As of April 2018, the CAA introduced an online portal to apply for your PfCO. Previously, your NQE did this on your behalf for the initial application.

The application website can be found here:

 https://apply.caa.co.uk/CAAPortal/servlet/SmartForm.html?formCode=UAS

The current cost for your initial application for your PfCO is £247.

 

 
 

8. RECIEVE PFCO 

Once the CAA has taken payment, It will take approximately 28 working days to issue a candidate's PfCO. You will receive the PfCO via email directly from the CAA. The candidate will only be-able to work commercially, once they have received their PfCO. 

 

9. ACCESS TO ICARUS FORUM

 
Each candidate has access to the ICARUS Forum. 
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10. JOIN PILOT COMMUNITY + FUTURE SUPPORT  + TRAINING     

Once a candidate has completed all the stages, they are a fully qualified Commercial Drone Pilot and they will enter the Drone Industry as part of the ICARUS Community. The ICARUS Team is always there for any future support or further training.