It’s time to refresh myself at Eyeup Towers.
My standard PfCO renewal is up on 6th January 2021. So what? Well, counting back 90 days from that date takes me to 8th October 2020, which is the earliest I can apply for renewal. So I’m planning to get the operations manual into the CAA nice and early.
Why would you bother doing that?
Firstly, we live in uncertain times. By early January, what will the lockdown arrangements be? How efficiently will the CAA team be working? There’s no need for me to risk waiting to find out so I’m not going to.
Secondly, there are rumours of a new issue of CAP722 about to emerge. This could contain new language based around EASA requirements or even a need to change concepts of operation. When it hits I will still need to revisit my documentation to keep it current, but I would prefer to do this in my own time rather than in a rush to beat a renewal deadline.
Not so happy Christmas
That brings me to my last reason. The 6th January seems to happen just after Christmas every year… strange but true. This means that any new applications and renewals that have been sent in over the Christmas period will be clogging up the CAA SUA team’s inbox. I don’t want to be stuck in that log-jam so I’m getting my documentation sorted now.
We don’t know for sure if EASA will be implemented until…possibly as late as the 31st December depending on how the Brexit negotiations go. But if it does come in on that day, the CAA has signalled that if a PfCO lapses then the operator will have to go down the GVC route. This will cost you in terms of finance at a lean time of year. But even worse, you will need to find the time to attend and pass the course and flight test. While you are doing this you may be limited on where and what you are allowed to fly.
Don’t be that voice on Facebook
Don’t be one of those operators who have to jump onto Facebook groups in a panic to ask how many days the CAA are taking to process renewals. I know that renewal seems like a chore but it can’t be as bad as a feeling of panic at the risk of missing a deadline. The minimum amount of time any operator should leave is the 28 working days that CAA sets itself as a target…even when the system is working well. But given that they allow us to apply well before the 28 days, it seems rude not to take advantage.