COMMERCIAL DRONE PILOT COURSE (PFCO)

This 3 day course will teach the Ground School subjects followed by a short exam required to support your application for a Permit for Commercial Operations (PfCO) with the CAA. This process will also include an assessment of your Operations Manual and a short Flight Assessment. ASG will then assist you with your permit application and will provide a recommendation to the CAA for the award of your PfCO.

The Course

During this 3-day classroom based course you will receive excellent tuition covering the CAA requirement for the Permit for Commercial Operations (PfCO) Ground School syllabus. You will also be assessed in a short multiple choice exam on the last day that will confirm that you have the basic level of knowledge required to support a CAA permit application.

Following this, we will ask you to submit your Operations Manual for assessment by one of our school assessors. Once this is complete, we will organise for you to undertake an independent Flight Assessment . This completes the CAA mandated requirements to be assessed.  We will then assist you with your submission of your PfCO application (Form SRG 1320) to the CAA.

Syllabus

The ASG Remote Pilot Certificate SUAS (RPCS) course is aimed at drone operators who wish to conduct commercial operations and therefore, gain CAA Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO).

ASG’s RPCS course is made up of three main components; Theory Course and Exam, Ops Manual Evaluation and Practical Assessment.

Theory

The theory component consists of two and a half days in the classroom, supported by eLearning and covers the following modules:

  • Air Law
  • Theory of Flight
  • Meteorology
  • Civil Aviation Procedures (CAPS)
  • Navigation
  • Lithium Polymer Batteries
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Human Factors
  • Flight Planning Exercise, and Operations Manual Guidance

On the third day candidates complete a Theory Exam, which once passed, awards them with the RPCS (T) certificate. This is a pre-requisite to completing the practical component, and allows candidates to apply for insurance cover for their SUAS from reputable insurance providers.

Ops Manual

After successful completion of the RPCS(T), candidates are given 3 months to complete and submit their Ops Manual for approval by one of ASG’s highly qualified experts. This is completed in the candidate’s own time and requires them to produce a manual detailing the way in which they operate their SUAS to conform to regulations and safety standards.

ASG prides itself on the attention to detail and support it offers candidates throughout this process. The theory course is structured so that guidance on the Ops Manual is received from day one of the course, giving candidates the knowledge and confidence necessary to fulfil this task without undue delay.

Practical

Once the Ops Manual is deemed and ratified satisfactory by our experts, you will be assigned an ASG Flight Assessor. The assessor will give candidates a practical scenario that reflects a normal task that he/she can expect in the future. The candidate will plan the mission and carry out the practical task at one of the approved ASG operational sites. Successful completion of the practical task gives students the RPCS award and ability to apply for PfCO from the CAA.

Reading

All students of the RPCS course will receive a free copy of the ASG Theory and Practice Workbook.

In addition, ASG will provide links to various CAA publications that you will be recommended to read prior to attending the course.

Venue

Fleet Air Arm Museum,
Yeovilton,
BA22 8HT

FAQs

What is Permission for Commercial Operation (PfCO)?

Permission for Commercial Operation is a CAA requirement if you wish to fly Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS) on a commercial basis (conducting operation for payment or valuable consideration), or fly a camera/surveillance fitted aircraft within congested areas or close to people and properties that are not under your control.

How do I apply for PfCO?

ASG is recognised by the CAA as a National Qualified Entity (NQE). This allows ASG to deliver courses that train and assess candidates on their overall airmanship skills, knowledge and operating capabilities.

To apply for PfCO, candidates are required to complete ASG’s Remote Pilot Certificate SUAS (RPCS) course successfully.

What if I fail the theory exam?

ASG allows candidates one free re-sit (at the next available RPCT course) if the RPCT exam is not passed on first attempt. 10 working days have to elapse before a re-sit can be taken.

What if my Ops Manual requires re-evaluation?

ASG’s Ops Manual experts will guide you in the right direction from day one of the RPCS course. If the submitted Ops Manual requires rework, one free re-evaluation will be provided to each candidate.

What if I have more than one SUAS aircraft?

This does not matter. ASG does not charge per aircraft, but per student taking the course.

What if I already hold an Aviation Qualification?

ASG has customised courses to suit individual needs. If you already hold a current Aviation Qualification you will only need to complete:

  • Emergency Procedures and Navigation (Day 2)
  • Flight Planning Exercise (Day 2)
  • Operations Manual Guidance (Day 2)
  • Theory Exam (Day 3)
  • Operations Manual Assessment
  • Practical Assessment

I have already completed an equivalent to ASG’s theory component (RPCS(T)) with another training provider. Will I need to complete this again?

No. If you have completed an equivalent to ASG’s theory course, to gain the full RPCS and obtain your PfCO recommendations you will only need to complete Phase Two of the course which includes:

  • Flight Planning Exercise (part of the theory course)
  • Operations Manual Assessment
  • Practical Assessment

ASG also offers these candidates Operations Manual guidance and the ability to take part in the Flight Planning Exercise on day two of a theory course (highly recommended).

Does ASG offer bespoke courses to teams, organisations or companies?

Yes. If you have a team of eight or more candidates wishing to obtain PfCO, ASG can come to your premises and hold onsite training. Please contact the ASG team for more information.

How do I apply to the CAA for my PfCO?

Applications for PfCO are made directly to the CAA by returning the completed SRG1320 form at least 28 days before any operations are due to commence. Pricing and information can be found at www.caa.co.uk

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