By DebbieH 21 May 2021 5 min read

How to become a Commercial Drone Pilot


All airspace in the UK is controlled by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The use of drones is regulated by the CAA and enforced by the police.

To fly a drone commercially, you will need to seek permission from the CAA. This permission is known as a ‘Permission for Commercial Operation (PFCO).

To gain a CAA PFCO, you will need to complete a course which requires you to demonstrate the necessary skills and knowledge needed by a commercial drone operator. It's not a usual pilot job, but it's a pilot job none the less!

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As part of the training for your CAA PFCO, you will need to demonstrate that you are educated in air law, understand how to operate your drone safely, can compile an operations manual, and can undertake a flight test.

The CAA does not run these courses directly but instead approves commercial National Qualified Entities (NQEs) to conduct the training and assessment on their behalf.

This process will usually take around 2 months to complete.