CAA Drone Training Courses

Drone Training

Get your permission to fly with heliguy™ drone training.

Industry Leader in Drone Training

heliguy™ drone training is trusted by UK Emergency Services, Oil & Gas Majors and the AEC industry.

heliguy™ Drone Training

heliguy™ is an industry leader in drone training.

Our five-strong in-house team of instructors - including ex-military personnel - have vast experience in multirotor and fixed-wing aircraft to empower commercial and enterprise drone operations.

They have taught more than 3,000 candidates and delivered training to the likes of Network Rail, National Grid, Balfour Beatty, London Fire Brigade, Phillips 66, PD Ports, and police forces around the UK.

"The course was very professional, very well structured and very well delivered. I know the instructors are great at what they do. For me, the most important part is the flying aspect, so I know the candidates are in safe hands.”

Paul Lindup - Network Rail

Who Trains with heliguy™

Take a look at some of the brands and business trained by heliguy™.

UK Drone Training Courses

heliguy™ offer a range of drone training courses, click a course to find out more.

A2 CofC Training Course

GVC Training Course

Extra skills and additional training

heliguy™ offer a range of added value training courses alongside CAA certifications.

99.6% of heliguy™ training candidates would recommend us

We've trained more than 3,000 candidates, including pilots from major organisations like Network Rail, BBC and UK police forces.


What kind of drone training do you need?

Cut through the confusing regulatory setup and understand which drone training is right for you.

A2 CofC vs GVC Drone Training

There are two main drone training courses in the UK: The A2 CofC (Certificate of Competency) and the GVC (General Visual Line-of-sight Certificate). Which one you choose depends on your drones and where you plan to use them.

Use the table below, or visit our drone license calculator, to choose which training course is right for you. Alternatively talk to our expert training team who will help you decide.


A2 CofC vs GVC Drone Training breakdown table

You Need A2 CofC Training

You'll Need a GVC

Permitted Operational Categories Open Specific

Training Requirements

 - Theoretical Learning
 - Theoretical Exam
 - Self-Guided Practical Flight Training

 - Theoretical Learning
 - Theoretical Exam
 - Operations Manual
 - RAE Practical Flight Assessment

CAA Fees

None

 - Initial Application
 - Annual Renewal
 - Approx £450 / year

Permitted SUA

- A1 Transitional (250g - 500g)
- A2 Transitional (500g - 2kg)
- C2 (up to 4kg)

 - 0 - 25kg SUA

Example Operations - Photography
- Videography
- Real estate
- Roof inspections
- Industrial inspections
- Drone mapping
- Public safety
- Search and rescue

Commercial Activity Permitted

Yes

Yes

Qualification Validity

5 Years

5 Years

Advantage

 - No costs with CAA
 - No Operations Manual
 - No Flight Assessment
 - Reduced Separation Distances (C2)
 - +400ft Structure Inspection Permitted

 
 - EVLOS Fixed Wing Bolt-on Modules
 - Any SUA (0-25kg)
 - Governance & operating procedures
 - Multiple RP permitted

Disadvantage

 - Limited to aircraft
 - No recognised qualification
 - Currently no C2 aircraft
 - Single RP only

 - Longer training pathway
 - Comprehensive Syllabus
 - Longer Examination
 - Ongoing CAA Costs
 - Audit & Governance

Booking Links

UK Drone Training Ecosystem

Supporting the lifecycle of a drone programme.

As a UK CAA-approved RAE (Recognised Assessment Entity), heliguy™ delivers standard GVC and A2 CofC drone training. But our provision extends much further than that.

Our multi-facetted and deeply integrated training ecosystem provides a structured, tailored and progressive solution to help operators build and scale their drone programmes.

This includes closed courses for UAS teams, on-site mentorship to build pilot competency for complex operations like industrial inspections, an OSC (Operational Safety Case) consultancy for enhanced operational permissions, and additional industry-specific courses, like fixed-wing, surveying, and thermography.

CAA UK Drone Training

Start your drone training journey with heliguy™ CAA-approved drone training.

Complete the GVC or A2 CofC through our online training platform.

Our GVC provision includes streamlined Operations Manual generation and bespoke Flight Assessments.

Closed Training Courses

Dedicated training delivered to a large group or organisation in a 'closed course' format.

This approach enables standardised and highly-specific drone training.

Our closed courses have been delivered to the likes of Network Rail and Balfour Beatty, while our ES-DOT course caters for the UK emergency services.

Complex OSC Consultancy

Gain competitive edge and fly more specialist drone missions with a complex Operational Safety Case.

Our OSC consultancy service - led by Josh, a former CAA OSC expert - will help you create a compliant and bespoke document - saving money in the process.

Assistive Programme

The Drone Assistive Program, our hybrid industry-specific training model, delivers on-site mentorship to ensure your pilots can operate safely and competently during complex operations, such as flare stack inspections.

Also features task-focused and application-specific classroom learning, such as use of optical and thermal sensors, mapping/surveying principles, data capture/analysis, and emergency services/crisis management.

Value-added Courses

Scale your drone programme with our additional industry courses.

These include a specialist fixed-wing module as a bolt-on to the GVC course.

We also run a Continuing Professional Development course (CPD) designed for public safety and other enterprise drone operators to maintain and enhance operational standards and compliance.

Operations Manual Creation

GVC candidates benefit from the heliguy™ streamlined Operations Manual creation service which has been endorsed by IQ verify as meeting the highest industry standards.

This removes the complexity of building the document, shaves days off this previously time-consuming process, and helps candidates build a compliant Manual tailored to their operations.

We also run an Operations Manual renewal service, to help operators keep their document up to date.

Fly Your Drone At Night

Night Permissions

Drone Training Available Online or In-Person

Lifetime Support

Free Re-sit for Failed Drone Exams

Free Resits

Free Drone Pilot Facebook Group

Facebook Group

Free Drone Consultations

Operations Manual Creation

Drone Training Available Online or In-Person

Online Training

heliguy™ End to end support

Drone training is just one part of a drone programme.

heliguy™ provides end-to-end support encompassing all aspects of a drone programme, from dynamic supply to in-house repairs & maintenance. This provides continuity from your drone training experience.

  • Free Consultancy: This comes as standard. Benefit from our vast knowledge pool, industry case studies and network of worldwide suppliers to build a tailored and appropriate solution for you.
  • Vast Supply, Including Rental: Access our vast stock inventory, specialising in, but not confined to, DJI hardware. We also offer drone rental for dynamic scaling, one-off jobs, and proof of concept.
  • Logistics Network: We can deliver next day and are IATA Certified to ship high-power batteries overseas; especially useful for international drone programmes. We've got experience of shipping to the U.S, Africa and the Middle East.
  • In-house Repairs: Utilise our in-house team of DJI-approved technicians to minimise your downtime. This includes fast-track repairs, swap-outs, fault diagnosis, and one-to-one support.
  • R&D Lab: heliguy™ Lab drives drone industry innovation. In-house 3D printing machines for R&D, product development/design, and rapid prototyping.
  • Drone Defence: Need to protect your airspace? heliguy™ Detect can help. Built on DJI AeroScope, we've supplied drone defence solutions to Gatwick Airport, the British Grand Prix, and the MET Police.

UK Drone Training Accreditations

We hold a wide range of commercial, industry and service based accreditations and awards.

QMS Certified
FCA Certified
CAA Certified
Achilles Certified
CPD Certified
DJI Enterprise Gold Dealer Status
Award Winning Drone Training

Meet the Drone Training Team

Meet the expert heliguy™ drone training team who will guide you through your certification.

Ben Shirley

Head of Training, Training Instructor

  • Former commercial drone operator, with a passion for aerial photography / videography.
  • Key member of heliguy™ training team since 2017.
  • 13 years in the British Armed Forces, attaining rank of Staff Sergeant and conducting international tours.
  • Former Royal Military Police, bringing his knowledge of policing to the emergency service application of UAS.
  • Experience of working in the TV, film and gaming industry.

Tom Anderson

Head of Safety, Training Instructor

  • A commercial drone remote pilot, working as a full-time Heliguy training instructor since 2016.
  • Vast experience of working as an instructor: BSAC Assistant Diving Instructor, PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer.
  • One of the UK's first to attain Mountain Training Association Development Coach Award.
  • Tom not only flies drones, but builds both fixed wing and FPV drones.

Jack Sharp

Training Instructor

  • Qualified drone training pilot, with GVC, A2 CofC and a PfCO.
  • Recreational drone pilot since 2017, specialising in aerial photography.
  • Photography work featured by the BBC, Forestry England and Mountain Warehouse.
  • Vast training background, developing experience in NHS forensic section and at HM Prison Service.

Mark Blaney

Training Instructor

  • Worked with drones since 2008, including roles as a military UAV Operator and international operations of the Hermes 450 Tactical UAV.
  • Logged 1500+ flying hours with fixed-wing and multi-rotor drones.
  • 7 years' experience as RPAS instructor; conducting flight assessments, instructing courses, and deploying internationally.
  • Former chief Remote Pilot for UK-based fixed-wing drone manufacturer.

Martin Young

Training Instructor

  • 9½ years as a helicopter pilot for the Royal Navy, flying the Merlin Mk3 and serving in Europe and the Far East.
  • Holder of an ATPL Commercial Pilot Licence.
  • Qualified drone pilot: GVC and former PfCO holder.
  • Operates a drone services company, utilising DJI aircraft for a range of jobs, from inspection to wedding photography.
  • Logged 500+ flying hours with rotary and fixed-wing aircraft.

Josh

OSC Specialist

  • Former UAS Technical Surveyor at the CAA, responsible for the evaluation, development and approval of OSC applications.
  • Well versed in the process, requirements, and best practises of building an OSC document.
  • His experience will save applicants' time in creating an effective and compliant OSC and should stop the need to go through potentially costly reviews and rewrites with the CAA - saving you money in the process.

Calvin Quigley

Training Administrator

  • International experience within the training and communications sectors.
  • Designed and delivered training content for the offshore and onshore energy industry.
  • A former welfare officer, responsible for upskilling jobseekers to facilitate employment opportunities.
  • Level 2 Mental Health First Aid Certificate holder.

Ben Sangster

In-house GIS specialist

  • Spends 50% of his time creating and delivering dedicated GIS drone training courses, and 50% in sales/consultancy.
  • Account manager for AEC clients such as Laing O'Rourke, Esri UK, Costain, and Komatsu, providing aerial surveying consultancy, hardware supply, and workflow support.
  • Experienced with Esri SiteScan, Pix4D, DJI Terra, DroneDeploy and Agisoft Metashape mapping software.
  • Guest speaker at 2021 Digital Construction Week in London, representing heliguy™ and Esri UK.
  • Graduated from Newcastle University with BSc Upper Second Class Honours in GIS.

Drone Training Videos

We've created some video guidance around drone training. Simply click the images below to watch.

ONLINE DRONE TRAINING

Learn more about the heliguy™ digital learning portal.

heliguy™ Learning Management System

  • Accessible, on demand content
  • Blended and flexible learning solution
  • LLearn at your own pace and re-watch content to reinforce learning
  • Live interactive chat with heliguy™ instructors
  • Training Hub for A2 CofC, GVC, and other courses
  • Bonus material, industry updates and product discounts
  • Access interactive Drone Safety Map, powered by Altitude Angel's GuardianUTM, for advanced flight planning and safety

Heliguy LMS Online Drone Training

Drone Regulations and Registration

Learn how to register as a drone operator in line with UK drone laws.

UK drone laws

The new regulations started in the UK and throughout Europe on December 31, 2020.

The regulations intend to do away with the limitations and ambiguity around commercial and non-commercial drone operations, and instead follow three basic concepts, based around:

  • the type of operation being conducted;
  • the level of risk;
  • the level of performance;

In the long run, the new regulations will open up new possibilities for operating a drone, including letting you fly closer to people than you have been able to previously, and letting you sell your stunning drone images without needing to complete a drone training course.

Book New Drone Training Courses

UK drone registration

You must register before flying most drones or model aircraft outdoors in the UK. This is done through the UK Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Service (DMARES).

There are two elements and you may need to meet both.

  • If you’ll fly, you must pass a free theory test to get a flyer ID.
  • If you’re responsible for a drone or model aircraft, you must register for an operator ID.

It is against the law to fly a drone or model aircraft without having the required IDs.

However, you do not need to register if you will only fly or use the following types of drone or model aircraft:

  • Toys below 250g or in C0 class;
  • Those in C0 class with no camera, whether they are a toy or not;
  • Those below 250g with no camera and no class mark, whether they’re a toy or not.

A Guide To The UK Drone Registration Service

UK Drone Training FAQs

Answers to your most frequently asked questions about drone training.

Related Blog Posts

Read blog posts and related articles on the heliguy™ blog.

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