The new Note 2 on the CAA Permission for Commercial Operation has the following wording:
"NOTE 2: Operators must be aware of their responsibilities regarding operations from private land and any requirements to obtain the appropriate permission before operating from a particular site. In particular, they must ensure that they observe the relevant trespass laws and do not unwittingly commit a trespass whilst conducting a flight."
This is a huge improvement on the previous wording which essentially required all holders of a PfCO to obtain landowner's permission before every flight. This was a potential stumbling block when wishing to fly from public land. The new wording still requires a pilot to obtain appropriate permission for take off and landing on private property, but opens the way for operations conducted from public access areas.
The trespass laws of the UK vary from country to country but none is the bailiwick of the CAA. This new note essentially places responsibility for avoiding trespass back on the pilot, but acknowledges the distinction between private and public land. It is still a pilot's responsibility to observe the relevant trespass laws, but there is no longer an automatic requirement to obtain landowner permission for flights from public land.
Flyby Technology pilots should still identify who has rights to the land before attempting to operate and ensure that all relevant trespass laws are complied with.
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