Operations Manual Consultancy

Operations Manual Consultancy

Heliguy look at operations manual consultancy companies as part of the PfCO drone permissions from the CAA.

Last updated: Mar 11, 2021

4 minute read

.   In the UK, the number of drone pilots obtaining their permissions from the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) to fly commercially is going up weekly. To obtain permissions, you must complete a Ground School and pass a multiple choice exam, pass a Flight Assessment and complete an Operations Manual which is submitted to the CAA. As the number of PfCO (Permission for Commercial Operation) applications goes up, so do the tools and resources available to help speed up the process of applying for your permissions. These include online elements to your Ground School and Operations Manual consultancy companies to help create your manual. While we’re all for saving time and making our lives easier, there can be a few issues with using shortcuts to obtain your PfCO. In this article, we will be discussing Operations Manual consultancy companies. Keep reading for more information about these companies and some issues you could face when using them. CAA

What is an Operations Manual?

Firstly, we will cover what an Operations Manual is and the basics of what it includes. An Operations Manual is the most important document used by commercial drone pilots and is required by the CAA for all commercial drone use. Details of the Operations Manual can be found in the CAA's CAP 722 Unmanned Aircraft System Operations in UK Airspace. The document provides guidance for applying for permissions to commercially fly UAVs and includes details and a template of an Operations Manual. The document includes an Operating Safety Case and details how you intend to fly your aircraft operationally, the nature of your business, details on the aircraft you're flying and risk mitigation to help keep you, your aircraft and the public safe.

Why You Should Be Wary of Some Operations Manual Consultancy Companies 

If you're applying for your permissions for commercial operations, any way of saving time may sound appealing to you but you need to be careful if you're intending on using one of these companies. heliguy™ Training Group - Newcastle - August 2017

You May Miss Vital Areas

Firstly, you might miss out on a beneficial part of the learning process. Writing your Operations Manual gives you a greater understanding of your aircraft, the equipment you will be using and the overall business and procedures. During your Flight Assessment, you must demonstrate complete knowledge of the procedures. If your Operations Manual is not personally written by you, you are less likely to pass your Flight Assessment and the time you saved by not writing the Operations Manual could be wasted.  

Operations Manuals Might Not be Designed for You

Operations Manuals created by consultancy companies may not tailor made for individuals. Rather than consultancy, a few details are taken to complete the Operations Manual and templates are often used. Heliguy have also experienced a number of computer-generated documents which have consistent errors that would be avoided if written by an individual. Key parts of your business may be missed which even if passed by the CAA, may result in updates being required which are at an additional cost when submitted to the CAA. heliguy™ Training Team

Templates Aren’t Always Up to Date

In 2015, the CAA issued CAP 722 which included a revised, three volume layout. In the template, requirements and recommendations are included. heliguy™ have seen a number of templates that have been created that are based on the EuroUSC manual and outdated CAA template from 2011. Older templates might be accepted by the CAA however, the process is likely to be significantly slower, again wasting any time you may have saved. heliguy™ will not accept any Operations Manual on older templates as having accurate information in your Operations Manual is imperative.

Your Operations Manual isn't Guaranteed

The CAA states your Operations Manual must meet the following specification: “This document must be an original work representing the applicant Company.” Operations Manual consultancy companies claim their Operations Manuals meet this and all specifications, however, there is no guarantee that they will be accepted. With the increasing number of these being submitted to the CAA, it’s thought by Heliguy’s Training Team that the CAA will clamp down on the issue, especially with the repeated mistakes and identical look of many of the Operations Manuals. If your Operations Manual isn’t accepted by your NQE or the CAA, it can result in delays to receiving your permissions and wasted cost on the consultancy companies and the NQEs who include additional chargers for this. heliguy™ Training Van


Although Operations Manuals from consultancy companies can be accepted by the CAA, heliguy™ recommends they’re created either by the individual or with direct communication which ensures you understand fully what’s included in your Operations Manual and that you can put into practice in your Flight Assessment. Your chosen NQE should assist you with your Operations Manual and provide you with all the information and tools you need to create your own to a high standard. Make sure you check whether this service is included before picking your NQE to stop any additional costs being tagged on to your bill. At the end of the day, the Operations Manual is required by the CAA but its purpose is for you. You must use your Operations Manual for all operations and need to know it inside and out to ensure you're a safe and competent pilot. This should be the priority of all drone pilots, commercial or not, especially with the upcoming changes to UK regulations for drones.
For the full details of Heliguy’s PfCO training, PfCO training adoption from another NQE or advice on your OM, give us a call on 0191 249 4516 or email us on info@heliguy.com. Why choose Heliguy? Read our Insider post to see why we stand out from other drone training NQEs.

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