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CAA to Introduce Rejection Fees for PfCO Applications

September 14, 2019

A rejection/assessment fee of £124.00 for PfCO applications which do not meet a 'certain level of standard' will be introduced from 1 October 2019. The CAA has introduced these rejection/assessments fees due to the sheer number of renewal applications that are being rejected due to current PfCO holders not updating, or incorrectly updating their Operations Manual.

Since January 2019 approximately 900 applications were placed on hold for 3 or more errors. The CAA have stated on their email to current PfCO holders that 'the level of rework required to reassess these applications has a negative impact on application Service Level Agreements.'


The rejection/assesment fee was first announced in the CAA Charges and Consultation document CAP 1720 (November 2018) and CAA Board Response documentCAP 1755 (March 2019).


The fee will come into force in line with the CAA Refunds & Waivers Policy


If you are unsure what determines an error and why your application may be placed on hold or rejected can be found on the CAA website.


We've also listed the potential errors your Operations Manual may get rejected for below for your convenience.


Legal Entity Name

Why your application could be rejected   How to ensure that we can process your application first time
Legal Entity Name  
The registered charity, Limited Company or LLP name and Companies/Charities House registration number do not match the information stated on the Companies/Charities House registry. Please check that the number and name stated on your application form match exactly as per the Companies/Charities House registry website. The address stated on your form must also be identical to the website




Operations Manual

Why your application could be rejected     How to ensure that we can process your application first time  
Ops manual  
The Operations Manual supplied with the application has an incorrect Issue number which needs to be corrected.   Please check that the issue number is correct, ensuring the amendment log and version/date have also been amended where necessary. 
The Operations Manual supplied with the application is not current against the latest Air Navigation Order

CAP 393 updates requirements and changes that must be incorporated into your Manual.


Please check this document when preparing your application.

The Operations Manual is not current in terms of MOR requirements.  SRG1601 has been replaced. Your manual must state a procedure for reporting such as using the ECCAIRS Reporting portal for MORs.
The Documents Reference Table in the Operations Manual supplied with the application, does not state the current revisions for all of the documents. Check that your manual has been updated to show the latest revisions of all documents related to your PfCO application.   
The Operations Manual supplied with the application has been signed but not dated. Please add the date to the Operations Manual, against your signature as Accountable Manager/Person. 
The Operations Manual supplied with the application has not been signed.   Please ensure that the Operations Manual is signed by the Accountable person/manager with a wet or electronic digital signature. 
The Operations Manual does not quote all nominated pilots Please ensure the Operations Manual states the name of all current pilots which operate under the Permission.
The Operations Manual refers to person in charge Please ensure any mention of 'person in charge' as been updated to SUA operator or Remote Pilot as per the latest ANO amendments.
The Operations Manual refers to PfAW or Permission for Aerial Work. Please be aware PfAW or Permission for Aerial Work is now an expired term which should be updated to PfCO or Permission for Commercial Operations.
The Operations Manual does not cover the name stated on the PfCO. Please ensure the Operations Manual at some point mentions the full operating which will appear on your Permission. Solely referring to a 'trading as' name will not be accepted.
The Operations Manual states night operations will take place but does not outline any additional procedures If you are wishing to operate at night time we would expect to see additional procedures in place. Examples of the type of additional procedures we would expect to see include daytime survey/site assessment, illuminating take-off landing zones, additional features to the aircraft etc.
The Operations Manual does not include Emergency Procedures Within your Operations Manual you have not provided sufficient details of how you would deal with Emergency situations. The type of example situations we would expect to see details for can be found in CAP 722 Appendix B.
The Operations Manual has been amended since its previous submission. Please ensure that the manuals, amendment log, version/date (including page 1) and any headers and footers have also been amended.
Overall - Layout / format not readable The XXXX document submitted with your application cannot be opened on our systems. Please resubmit the document.



NQE or Equivilant

Why your application could be rejected  How to ensure that we can process your application first time
 NQE or Equivalent  

No copy of the NQE recommendation/qualification has been supplied.
Check that your application includes a copy of the NQE recommendation / qualification
It appears that the copy of the NQE recommendation/qualification supplied with the application contains an error.  


If this happens you will need to contact your NQE to correct the issue and  submit an amended copy to enable us to continue assessment of your application


The NQE recommendation/qualification supplied does not show the relevant competence required to support the application request.   

Please contact your NQE to discuss the competence required to support your application and submit the correct supporting documentation e.g. applying for fixed wing privileges would require a recommendation for that category.

The NQE recommendation/qualification document supplied with the application cannot be accepted. The NQE did not hold a valid CAA approval at the time you completed the course or the document was issued. 

Check the CAA website for a list of approved NQE's before completing a course.




Why your application could be rejected     How to ensure that we can process your application first time  
Logbook(For renewal applications)  
Logbook supplied does not meet the required hours. For renewal applications we must see evidence of 2 hours unmanned aircraft flying (recreational or commercial) over the last 3 months for one of the nominated pilots. The evidence must show the dates and flight duration for each flight.
Logbook supplied does not state the Remote pilots name For renewal applications the logbook evidence must clearly state the name of the nominated pilot. 



Struggling with updating your Operations Manual?

If you are struggling with creating an Operations Manual for your initial application, we have a template available (click here for more details).


If you are updating your manual, then please feel free to get in touch as we have an audit service available to guarantee that your application wont get rejected and you get your renewal through first time around.


Contact us on 01491 526 700 or email