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CAA Drone Training: Full Course (PfCO)

Get your PfCO (Formerly PfAW)
Code: caa-drone-training
  • £1,079.00 (inc VAT)
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Drone Training to Secure CAA PfCO (formerly PfAW)

Why Choose Heliguy Drone Training?


Expert Instructors.

The Latest Hardware.

Exclusive Partner Discounts.

Night Permissions Included.

No Hidden Fees.

0% Finance.

Earn Loyalty Points.



"The whole process with Heliguy couldn’t have been more efficient and professional."

"I did the ground school course in Farnborough and the flight assessment in Newcastle. I am a professional cinematographer and have worked on Emmy, Bafta and RTS award-winning films. The Heliguy team brought a lot of new insight and training to the table. The main input for me was their absolutely rigorous approach to writing the Operations Manual which is such an important part of achieving the PfCO. All of the safety and training team pull together for you on this and make sure you have a watertight manual to present to the CAA. Well done guys, and thanks again."

Tony Coldwell - Cinematographer


Heliguy's PfCO Course (C-DOT) Overview

What is the C-DOT Course About?

The Commercial Drone Operators Training (C-DOT) Course is designed to deliver the theoretical knowledge necessary to obtain a Permission for Commercial Operation from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The course is delivered across the United Kingdom by our dedicated training team of professional instructors in an engaging and dynamic way.

The course teaches candidates the knowledge required to safely operate their aircraft in a commercial capacity and incorporates the CAA syllabus necessary to obtain a PfCO.

In addition, we also provide the guidance required to apply for permissions to operate your drone at night giving you the competitive edge and operate 24 hours a day in suitable conditions.

We don’t believe in hidden fees, therefore the price you pay incorporates all the elements of the process with exception to the CAA application fee.

If you are unsuccessful in any element of the process, we do not charge fees for retesting.

How to Get a PfCO and Become a Commercial Drone Pilot

How do I actually become a qualified commercial drone pilot?

In order to obtain a Permission for Commercial Operation, you must first complete Ground School unless you have a valid aviation qualification.

After the ground school, you will compile an Operations Manual which details your organisation, operating procedures and the technical specifications of your aircraft.

Once the operations manual is complete and approved by our instructors, you will then be required to conduct a practical flight assessment to ensure that you are competent and confident operating your aircraft.

On successful conclusion of the practical flight assessment, you are then eligible to apply for a PfCO to the CAA.

Drone Training Ground School

How is the Heliguy PfCO Ground School Structured?

The course is delivered over a 3 day period between 0900 AM until 1700 PM and a brief overview of the syllabus is detailed below:

CAA Training Timetable
Day 1Day 2Day 3
Operations Manual & Practical
Flight Assessment Overview
Human FactorsOperating Procedures
Aircraft Systems
Maps & ChartsAirmanship PrinciplesPractical Planning Exercise
Operating Procedures
Risk ManagementTheory Examination
MeteorologyClosing Address / Dispersal

How is the course content actually delivered?

The Ground School encapsulated the CAA syllabus yet delivering engaging and practical lessons.

Each lesson is integrated with tasks and exercises that allow the instructors to assess the progress of the students and compliments the theoretical knowledge which students attain.

Each day concludes with a summary and revision of what has been covered that day which helps to cement the understanding of the students in each section of the syllabus.

We teach you everything you need to know about operating a drone within the UK Airspace, from integrating with other forms of aviation, airspace knowledge and air law.

We also cover factors such as weather, airmanship principles through to obtaining a comprehensive understanding of the component parts of your aircraft.

By the end of the course, you will have the knowledge and confidence to compile an Operations Manual; a mandatory requirement to operate a drone in a commercial capacity.

PfCO Training Course Ground School Details by Day

Day One

After a meet and greet with your fellow candidates, we clearly outline how the future will look in respect of your PfCO process.

After which, we introduce you to Airlaw whereby you will learn all the relevant rules and regulations.

After a social lunch, you will get hands on the map and airspace charts to learn how you will integrate with other aviation.

Day Two

We begin day two with a recap of day one to ensure that outstanding questions are answered and the information has begun to sink in.

We then move onto Human Factors with thought-provoking discussions regarding crew resource management and other factors.

It is then time to get hands-on with the latest DJI aircraft and obtain an intricate knowledge of the component parts which make up your aircraft.

Regardless if you’re completely new to drones, or a seasoned hobbyist, you’re guaranteed to learn something new.

Following a leisurely lunch, the afternoon starts with Airmanship Principles where classroom debates are the norm.

As one of the most important factors of any operation, Risk Management takes centre stage in the afternoon where you can expect to learn how to effectively conduct a risk assessment and implement control measures.

We day concludes with the Meteorology lesson where you learn about safe operating conditions and how the weather can affect your flight.

Day Three

The last day of the course starts with a comprehensive overview of how all of this theoretical knowledge is applied to a real-world operation.

We take you step-by-step through operational planning from the moment you receive the task request, right through to completing the job.

The class is then split into groups and you will work together to plan an operation and apply the knowledge obtained during the course under the guidance of our instructor.

The last step of the course is the multiple-choice theoretical exam.

Drone Training Locations

Where can I train?

Heliguy's C-DOT course is currently delivered at three different UK locations:

  • Newcastle
  • Manchester
  • Farnborough

Find out more about each location below:



Train at Heliguy Headquarters in Newcastle upon Tyne

Unit 9, Jupiter Court
North Shields
Tyne and Wear
NE29 7SE


Train at Shrigley Hall in Manchester

Pott Shrigley
Nr Macclesfield
SK10 5SB


Train at The Elvetham in Farnborough

Fleet Rd
Hartley Wintney
RG27 8AS


What Happens After the Ground School?

Operations Manual Support

Throughout the production of your Operations Manual, you can expect continued support from our dedicated team of instructors, as well as informative online guidance material to enable you to expeditiously produce a quality document.

Our instructors will comprehensively review your operations manual to ensure that it is to the standard required by the CAA.

Once your Operations Manual has been ratified by our team, you will be invited to conduct a practical flight assessment during which you will show that you can operate your aircraft in a confident and competent manner in accordance with your operations manual.

On successful completion of the practical flight assessment, candidates are able to submit their application to the CAA to receive their PfCO.

Practical Flight Assessment

The Practical Flight Assessment is designed to assess both your ability to adequately plan a commercial operation, as well as operate your aircraft.

The test lasts approximately two hours and you will be expected to control the operation from start to finish as if it were a real job.

You will be assessed against your procedures outlined in your operations manual and you will conduct a series of exercises, manoeuvres and simulated emergency scenarios.

The format of flight assessment is discussed comprehensively during your ground school.

On successful completion of the CDOT syllabus, you are then eligible to apply to the CAA for your Permission for Commercial Operation.

On receipt of which, you are then able to operate your drone commercially but must remember to renew your PfCO annually.

Heliguy have helped hundreds of individuals and organisations successfully obtain their Permission for Commercial Operation and our reputation is a testament to our experienced instructors, unrivalled technical support and expert sales team.

We pride ourselves on providing a deeply personal service to ensure you receive the very best training experience available.

Drone Training FAQs

What are the lead times on Heliguy’s drone training from start to finish?

The average candidate takes 1-2 months to complete the whole process. This varies on the candidate’s motivation, available time and other commitments.

Can I take my drone flight test the same week as my Ground School?

You can as long as your Operations Manual has been approved by us in advance. However, it’s recommended that you take some time to absorb the information and use this opportunity practice what you have learned over the course of the week.

Are there any other costs after the Ground School?

The CAA charge £247.00 for the initial application, and then £185.00 on renewal annually.

What if I fail my drone flight test?

There are no additional charges – you can re-sit the flight test with our instructors for free.

Can I fly a drone without gaining my PfCO from the CAA?

You can as a hobbyist, but not as a commercial operator in the UK.

Why is Heliguy’s drone training course the best choice for me?

Our 3-day ground school provides the essential face-to-face contact to deliver the course syllabus and answer as many questions you may have. We also have no hidden fees and you’re guaranteed lifetime support for your Operations Manual from Heliguy.

Do I need to retrain or annually retake a drone flight test?

No, you simply need to renew your PfCO with the CAA. We can provide you with assistance when the time comes.

What if I need a larger drone and have already completed my PfCO?

We offer flight tests for 7-20Kg aircraft. Get in touch to find out more from our Training Team. If you’re changing the aircraft you’re using, you will need to amend your Operations Manual to reflect this.

Does passing Heliguy’s training course get me a drone license?

On completing the course and after the subsequent application process to the CAA, you will be awarded Permissions for Commercial Operation which act as a sort of license and allows you to legally operate drones for profit.

Do I need to take a test to fly drones at night?

Not at all. Night Permission can be added to your PfCO for no additional charge. We will provide guidance on the process for integrating this into your Operations Manual, whilst outlining the risk mitigation and human factors aspect of flying at night.

Showing 10 of our total 118 reviews, with an average rating of 5 stars. Read all 118 reviews for CAA Drone Training: Full Course (PfCO).
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Review Summary - 5 out of 5 based on 118 ratings.
July 16, 2018 | Lisa Burgess
Absolutely brilliant course led by outstanding instructors

On day one of this course my knowledge and confidence was minimal. After spending 3 days with Ben and Tom I am amazed at what I have learnt. Everything I need to know to move forward plus a lot more. I cant really praise the instructors enough. So motivating and passionate about what they do, very professional yet so approachable. Really enjoyed the course and would recommend Heliguy to anyone.

July 16, 2018 | Mike T
Fantastic course delivered well

I attended the course on the 10/07/18 and I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. There is a lot to push through over the three days and some of it is heavy going but it is always delivered engagingly. I would heartily recommend this course to all

July 13, 2018 | Christopher Fisher
Fantastic Course- really enjoyed it!

Booked myself onto a ground course with Heliguy in July. Superb local firm to me-the instructors ( Ben & Tom ) couldn’t have been more helpful sharing their experience they have with us. It really was Law made easy, the way they explained it was fun and not daunting at all! - They prepared us for our classroom exams really well and also pointed us in the right direction regarding drones and equipment. I would recommend heliguy and their staff anyday and would be proud to ask them onboard for a Drone operation in the future :) Thanks Chaps!

July 13, 2018 | Nick Jordan
Drone Test and Course

Excellent all round and the flight test was thorough and well executed Many thanks to the team.

July 12, 2018 | Paul Porter
Ace course !

A great experience in great surroundings. I learnt a lot.

I was expecting a sales pitch to buy a product, but this never came. Just loads of valuable information from guys you'd go and have a beer with.

The team are thorough and put you through your paces but its all in the name of safety. I really enjoyed it and would recommend these guys to anyone.

July 9, 2018 | Andy Ditchfield
Do it!

Major thanks to Andrew, Ben and the rest of the team for such a professional and enjoyable experience. The quality of the course and training I thought was superb and have no hesitation in recommending anyone to it.

July 9, 2018 | William Booth
Ground School (PFCO)

I was initially very nervous about attending this course but after the first 30 mins a felt much better. The Training Staff were very friendly and approachable and their style made me feel much more comfortable. The 3 day course was very relevant and the content was spot on. The whole experience was great and the feel of the presentations, trainers delivery, documentation and follow up support was very professional...Thank You Heliguy Training Team.

July 4, 2018 | Paul Taylor
CAA Drone training

Perception is projection and I came away from this course with the view I had been instructed by a first rate team who had been drawing from their own practical experience throughout the course and seemed to be at the cutting edge of all things 'drone'. Highly recommended

June 29, 2018 | Jason
A Top Class, Professional Training Course

If you are looking to take your 1st steps into this industry, these are the guys too get you started! Every single piece of information is delivered with the students in mind. From beginners to more seasoned pilots, everyone is guaranteed to be able to learn and learn well! Top job guys! Thank you.

June 25, 2018 | Glenn Clayton
PfCO Training

Heliguy is such a professional and knowledgeable company to deal with. From start to finish they put you at ease with any concerns or worries you may have. I highly recommend this course to anyone who is wanting to fly drones for commercial purposes. The course is very interesting and informative but what makes Heliguy Heliguy is the team. Very professional and great people to work with. Keep doing what you're doing!!!


Excellent telephone support - and website prices. Arrived v. quickly. Thanks Heliguy!

July 13,2018


First class help and advice. Really great guys and fast shipping, highly recommend and I will go there again for any future requirements.

July 13,2018


Brilliant service and fast delivery. 10 out of 10. Will definitely shop here again.

July 10,2018


Goog communication, very fast delivery. Good product, What more could you ask

July 9,2018



July 6,2018


First dealings. Brilliantl service and super fast delivery. Will use next time.

July 5,2018


Great service as always. What I wanted delivered promptly.

July 4,2018


Efficient and reliable

June 30,2018


fast excellent service

June 30,2018


Exceptional customer service and a great all-round team!

June 30,2018





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