About the GVC – General Visual Line Of Sight Certificate

The term Commercial Operations allows a broad variety of flight applications, which are mostly based around aerial photography or the operation of sensors and other data-gathering devices.  

The GVC is required in order to conduct “commercial operations” within a specified category. 

As a remote pilot competency certificate, the GVC provides the qualification for VLOS operations and is valid for a period of 5 years.  

Professional operators and pilots conducting operations of Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA) require a GVC, BSA conduct the in-class theory and practical flight assessment to get you there. 

In line with upcoming EU Regulations, as of 31st December 2020 the GVC will replace the PfCO. However if you wish to conduct commercial operations in line with your certification before 31st December 2020 you may apply to the UK CAA for a PfCOevidencing competence.  

Prior to taking the GVC examination and flight test, the remote pilot is required to have completed the following: 

• Completion of the CAA’s ‘Drone and Model Aircraft’ online training course for basic remote pilot competency – further information available here;

• Successful completion of the CAA’s online competency test and be in possession of the ‘Flyer ID’ number associated with that test. Get your Flyer ID here

The BSA drone program has been designed by our Head of Training, John Moreland. With expertise in military programs and managing UAS schemes, John is a specialist in the Commercial drone Industry.

The Course

Theoretical Knowledge – 2 days

Assessment by BSA is necessary for those with no previous aviation training or qualifications. To achieve this, BSA offers a short programme prior to the competency assessment aimed at bringing an individual’s knowledge up to the required level

The BSA drone program is a combination of theory and practical. Typically you will come to BSA with some experience in flying a drone; coupled with study materials for self-study in advance, we ensure you have the best course coverage to gain competence as a GVC holder. 

Our instructors are all professionally trained and have real world experience as either commercial fixed wing pilots or commercial drone operators. 

During your theory course you will cover case studies and discuss the practical application of the knowledge gained through self-study and classroom-based activities. The purpose of this is to investigate how you apply this knowledge in real-world scenarios. For those on our specialist courses this is tailored to your end goal. 

There is a theoretical knowledge exam at the end of the 2 day course. 

Practical Flight Assessment (PFA) – 1 day

The BSA GVC program provides a handbook for your reference.

A PFA has no structured syllabus or sequence of numbered exercises, but the test will be based on testing the procedures that have been described within the BSA operations manual 

Whilst you may have relevant flight experience you will still have pre-flight briefings applicable to your sorties so you are confident you will meet the required standard. 

The culmination of your training results in gaining your UAQ (Unmanned Aircraft Qualification). The BSA GVC Program provides you with a generic Operations Manual to cover your GVC and the usage case, however there may additional specifics to be added as per your company SOPs. If all this is completed prior to December 31st you apply to the UK CAA and apply for the PfCO to operate. 

Pre Entry Requirements

  • Flyer ID / operator ID – as appropriate
  • Have completed the UK CAA Drone Education Online Service
  • A Drone registered with the UK CAA 
  • Drone Insurance
  • A laptop or tablet
  • Be 18 years or older