ATEC-3D, one of the UK’s earliest CAA-approved drone training suppliers has just been re-certified by the CAA to be able to provide A2 Certificate of Competence and GVC training.
Give yourself more options in the Open category
The A2 certificate of Competence is a new qualification that is designed to show that you have undergone training in planning flights and operating your drone safely in areas where there are likely to be uninvolved persons.
With this qualification, you are able to fly in built-up areas with 'legacy' drones of up to 2Kg as long as you keep a horizontal separation of 50m from uninvolved persons. Once new 'C' marked drones hit the market you will be able to fly closer when a special mode is selected.
You can of course currently fly in these areas legally with drones of less than 250g such as the Mavic Mini 1&2, however, having this CAA recognised qualification gives you something to show prospective clients and authorising bodies to assure them that you have had training in flight safety, managing risks, and keeping records.
GVC (General VLOS Certificate)
Fly unmanned aircraft of up to 25Kg in the 'Specific' category
This certification which includes theory and practical assessment, plus the creation of an 'Operations Manual' which outlines your operating procedures to ensure your skills, knowledge and operations meet enhanced standards.
This then allows flights in areas that are otherwise inaccessible, and is the standard that most companies will be looking for when employing a drone operator for commercial work.
It is important to understand that the certificate itself does not give any privileges, it is used as part of an application to the CAA for an 'operational Authorisation' which gives you permissions to fly within certain parameters.
Most people choose to go for what would have been 'standard permissions' in the old PfCO system, and is now referred to as PDRA-01 ie:
400' max height above take-off level
30m separation from uninvolved persons on take-off
50m 'bubble' separation from uninvolved persons whilst in flight
Flights to be conducted within VLOS of your craft to a maximum of 500m
No flights within 150m horizontally of large groups of people.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro
Aerial photography/ videography and high level inspection
This drone is our main craft for video and photography.
It's range of features are aimed at getting the best images even in low light.
We also use this craft for aerial inspections such as roof condition surveys,
DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual
Aerial photography and high level inspection
This tiny drone is ideal for use in areas where the larger Mavic 2 Pro requires more clearance to take off. We are able to fly this craft much closer to uninvolved people than the rest of our kit due to CAA rules on craft weighing less then 250g. This makes it ideal for urban roof inspections etc.
Training and backup
As ATEC-3D has been operating for a long time, we have a number of drones which have been replaced by later models, some, such as the Inspire One are no longer safe to fly as the batteries have been charged too many times, so our two of those have been retired.
Others are still maintained and flown, such as the Mavic Pro, Phantom 3 Pro and a couple of Phantom 2 drones.
These are used for training, and we always carry the Mavic Pro with us when we go to a job as a 'fallback' piece of kit in case of issues.
Our support kit for video and photography
A quick look at some of the other kit we use to support drone flights and to add ground videography and photography to our services.