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Drone License Guide


A Guide to Drone Licenses.

When do you need a licence to fly your drone?


Who needs a drone licence?

If you’re planning on using your drone strictly as a hobby, a licence is not required as long as you follow the CAA regulations.

If you’re planning on using your drone for profit or for business purposes, you will need to get a licence from a CAA approved provider.

The ‘drone licence’ referred to by Heliguy is actually a known as PfCO (Permissions for Commercial Operations). Rather than a licence, UK permissions are granted by the CAA following your training and successful completion of your practical and theory tests, as well as your Operations Manual.

As far as the UK goes - it's a permission - NOT a license.

Drone Licenses

How much does a Drone License Cost?

Heliguy pride themselves on being open and honest with their prices for your licence.

CAA Approved Drone Licence – Full three phase process including a three day Ground School, Flight Assessment and Operations Manual consultation.£1439.10 (ex VAT £1199.25)
Flight Assessment ResitFree of Charge
Theory Test ResitFree of Charge
Bespoke / Close CoursePriced on a cases by cases basis dependent on requirements

An interest free finance option is also available for your drone license.

There are no hidden costs to our PfCO Course - you will not be charged for extras at any point, unlike many other NQEs.

A 'Drone License' Wording Reminder

The CAA does not issues licences. There is no such thing as a 'Drone licence' in the UK.

You'll actually receive a Permission for Commercial Operations (or PfCO) after completing the necessary course.

However, as this isn't common knowledge. we've created this article on drone licences to educate and inform the public.

What do I need to do to get a drone licence?

Ground School

The three days of theory that gives students the understanding of equipment used, safe aircraft operations and a variety of aviation knowledge. A theory exam is completed at the end of this section.

Flight Assessment

This is a practical assessment where student’s skills are assessed in controlling the aircraft, testing in real-world scenarios and completing required checks and notifications for a commercial operation.

Operations Manual

The Operations Manual details the student’s operational procedures they are required to follow. Heliguy guide and mentor students throughout the completion of their manual.

Drone License FAQs

Where can I get my drone licence?

Your licence can only be given following the CAA’s review of your Operations Manual and theory and practical examinations.

Heliguy, a CAA approved NQE, can offer training for your licence in their Newcastle, Farnborough and Manchester.

(Venues are subject to change.)

Can I get my drone licence online?

Heliguy does not offer online licences for your drone. We believe all learning should be done face to face to achieve the best results. This method is tried and tested nearly 700 licences provided to date.

I have a Ground School Certificate, Flight Assessment or Operations Manual. Can I finish my training with Heliguy?

Heliguy are happy to offer any part you need to receive your drone licence. Our prices are as follows:

Course ElementPrice
Ground School and Flight Assessment – Perfect if you work for a company you already work for has an Operations Manual you can be added to.£999 (ex VAT £832.50)
Operations Manual Consultation and Flight Test – If you have a Ground School certificate from another NQE.£699 (ex VAT £582.50)
Flight Assessment – If you have completed your Operations Manual and Ground School£249 (ex VAT £207.50)
Operations Manual Refresh – For people who need assistance during the renewal of the manual£249 (ex VAT £207.50)
Flight Assessment Resit (if taken through Heliguy)Free of charge
Theory Test Resit (if taken through Heliguy)Free of charge

Do different types of drones need different licences?

Different types of licenses are required for the different drones available. Different licences are required for fixed wing or multirotor as well as different weight categories, 0-7kg and 7-20kg. Heliguy can offer training for all drones in these classes.

I already have a pilots licence - can I fly my drone commercially?

You will have to contact the CAA directly to check whether a pilots license is sufficient. A separate drone license may be required.

Will my English drone licence apply in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland?

Your drone license will apply in any country in the UK.

How old do you have to be to get a drone licence?

The CAA won’t grant permission to anyone under the age of 18.