Below is the full text of an email from the BMFA received today addressed to all members. It includes a link to the membership portal (link in 1st para) and their ‘be-lawful’ pages (link just before the ‘thank you’ heading) and goes on to explain about competency.
It also appears to explain the new plastic membership card.
Remember, if you have opted to renew membership of the BMFA through our club, then the club will be registering you with the CAA and paying the fee.
Remember too that at the next club meeting assitance will be available for those not automatically qualifying as ‘competent’.
We will be opening the renewal cycle for 2020 on Monday morning from 9am when you will be able to log in to the BMFA Go Membership portal at https://bmfa.azolve.com and renew membership for 2020. Membership is valid from the moment payment is made until 31st December 2020.
Before you renew, we would strongly recommend you check the information in your membership profile and correct where necessary.
When you select to renew Senior membership, you will have an option to select CAA Registration and also the new optional (£3.50) plastic membership card simply by ticking a box, all very simple and clear. The card is also available for all other classes of membership.
If you select to add CAA Registration your first name, surname, address, date of birth and email address will be sent to the CAA as part of an encrypted and secure bulk upload on 1st February 2020 (please ensure they are correct), shortly afterwards you will receive your Operator ID by email directly from the CAA at which point you should ensure this is displayed on or in an easily accessible location in your aircraft.
The plastic membership card will also, if you choose, give you access to the new BMFA Reward scheme which gives you the chance to make savings at many UK retailers, restaurants, cinemas and hotels. Potentially members can save hundreds each year for the extra cost of just £3.50.
You will still be able to download your membership documents as soon as you have renewed and if you have ordered a plastic card it will arrive in about 7 to 10 days with more information about BMFA Rewards.
Are you “competent”?
After 30th November 2019 you must hold a CAA recognised competency if you intend to fly a model aircraft or drone outdoors that weighs over 250gm. However, we have negotiated an exemption from this requirement for any BMFA member who holds either a Basic Proficiency Certificate, an A or a B certificate.
If you do not hold any of these you should take our Online Registration Competency Certificate at https://rcc.bmfa.uk/rcc this is a very simple test and only takes a few minutes of your time and will ensure you remain lawful.
It is also worth spending some time looking through the new https://be-lawful.bmfa.org website where you will find all the information you need to ensure you are up to speed with current regulations and the registration process.
We would very much like to thank all members for their support in 2019 and hope we can also count on your support in 2020 when we will be busy negotiating with the CAA and DfT to establish permanent future arrangements for model aircraft and drone flying within the BMFA from July 2020 in accordance with new European regulations. What we have arrived at currently is a very simple way for our members to comply with the current UK law in the interim.
For those with an achievement (including the new Registration Competency Certificate), the only requirement is to pay the additional £9 CAA fee (don’t forget that we succeeded in getting this fee almost halved from the original £16.50 – for the benefit of everyone). We are also in a position to assist those members without an existing Achievement (or in some cases internet access) to comply with the law with the help of their club.
We need the support of our members to make this work. If insufficient numbers utilise the concessions we have secured, then they are perhaps less likely to be available to us in the longer-term solutions we agree with the CAA from July 2020 onwards.
The whole process is very simple whichever route you take, so you can choose to register directly with the CAA or you can choose to register via the BMFA and help strengthen our position in upcoming negotiations.
Tel: 0116 2440028
The Society of Model Aeronautical Engineers Limited
T/A The British Model Flying Association
A company limited by guarantee. Registered in England Number 457067
Registered office Chacksfield House, 31 St Andrew’s Road, Leicester, LE2 8RE