ARPAS is the leading professional body representing UAV operators across the UK. The AGM is an ideal opportunity to meet fellow operators and also learn more about the work of the organisation. UAV's are becoming more common place but still suffer from some bad press normally associated with near misses. Not all these reports are actually due to UAV's but all too often it does result in alarmist headlines.
There was however more positive news from the Association who is seen as a key and important voice of this emerging sector. ARPAS is very active in working with Government and regulators and in particular the Civil Aviation Authority. As with any new and emerging industry the regulations are still evolving and will change over time. What does concern the professional operators is the potential for onerous regulations which are deemed necessary in light of poor and sometimes irresponsible actions of some pilots who either don't know there are rules or choose to ignore them. Hopefully as an association we can presuade and demonstrate to the regulators that properly trained, licenced and insured operators fly safely at all times with due regard to the "rules". The CAA have recently published a consulation paper on the UAV's which will help form their opinions on how they should be regulated.
ARPAS is a relatively small association funded by membership subscriptions plus a small amount of grant funding. In light of this many of the key posts are held by volunteers who generously spend considerable time and effort working to ensure ARPAS continues to successfully represent it's members.