A man participating in UAV training

The Air Navigation Order (ANO) 2016 came into force on the 25th August 2016 by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to replace the ANO 2009.

There are no significant alterations to the regulations, but changes include replacements of terms, renumbering of articles and a change to the document layout.

The Air Navigation Order 2016 is now the key document for UK aviation regulation, so it is crucial for commercial UAV pilots to become familiar with the updates.

One of the most significant changes has been the replacement of the term ‘aerial work’ with ‘commercial operation’, to align with EASA-OPS.

You therefore no longer apply for a ‘Permission For Aerial Work’ (PFAW), but a ‘Permission for Commercial Operations’ (PfCO).

So, when referencing the PFAW in your operations manual, please make amendments so it now reads ‘PfCO’.

Note: both the new and old term have the same meaning, only the wording has changed. For more information, see the new article 94(5).

All ANO 2016 changes

For all article changes, see the below table, taken from the CAA’s Information Notice. This will allow you to reference the correct ANO articles in your operations manual.

ANO 2009 Article number  ANO 2016 Article number
131: Dropping articles for agriculture and aerial application certificates  91
137: Endangering safety of an aircraft  240
138: Endangering safety of any person or property  241
161: Power to restrict flying  239
166: Small unmanned aircraft  94
167: Small unmanned surveillance aircraft  95
232: CAA power to prevent flying  257
242: Exemption from Order  266
244: Approval to supply reports  268
253: Exceptions from the Order  23
255: (interpretation)  2 and schedule 1
257: (Meaning of operator)  4
259: (Meaning of aerial work)  7


Cambridge UAV Academy provides CAA-approved UAV pilot training for those who wish to fly drones commercially. You can find out more about our courses here, or call us on 01480 493 800.

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