The longer answer...

If you plan to fly your drone for yours or someone else's commercial gain, you need a Permission for Commercial Operation (PfCO) from the UK Civil Aviation Authority. Or another way to put it is, if you or someone stands to benefit financially or in kind from the flight, you need to prove you are competent and insured - which can legally only be done through a PfCO.

The PfCO is evidence that you have insurance, and learnt and passed assessments on relevant air regulation, safety, and flight competence - so you know what you should and shouldn't be doing. Flying for commercial gain without a PfCO, as well as breaking any of the regulations set out in the CAA's CAP393, is illegal and dealt with by the police. 

This applies to everybody, across every business, and with every aircraft, such as:

  • A photographer wishing to take aerial landscape and wedding photos with a DJI Phantom 4, to sell as prints
  • A surveyor wishing to inspect high structures for damage with an AscTec Falcon 8, as part of their report
  • An estate agent wishing to take aerial property photos with a 3DR Solo, to use in marketing
  • An emergency service wishing to use a DJI Inspire 1 with thermal imaging, for surveillance or fire monitoring

It sounds pretty scary, but we promise it isn't!

It's now even easier to gain your PfCO by attending one of our renowned ICARUS courses across the UK. You'll be taught all you need to know, and more, by our expert instructors. Our course was developed by a former military helicopter pilot, and is the only syllabus to include extra crucial information on the UK military Low Flying System, and LiPo battery safety. We are also one of very few courses where you can complete the theory and practical elements from the same convenient location.

We're committed to developing you into more than just a safe operator, by guiding you through this niche industry's best practises to becoming a respected operator and successful business too. Our range of additional courses, from night approval to photography, can ensure you stay ahead of the competition by continually developing your skills and business.

We pride ourselves on giving the best experience and service, and consciously keep classes small so we can get to know each of our students and their needs and ambitions as best as possible. When you take our course, you become part of the family.

Read on to learn more about what the ICARUS course involves, and book your place at one of our centres. If you have any questions, don't hesistate to get in touch at or call us on 0845 450 9300.