12.1    Inter-club interference
(a)  Inter club interference is possible when 35 MHz is in use as a model control frequency. However, if a club is set up to use 2.4 GHz equipment only then the following section is not relevant and lesser safety distances will apply.  If your club is using 2.4 GHz only, the organisation must be very careful to police the rule rigorously and, in the case that there are nearby clubs, it would be good practice to inform them of the club’s location and the fact that only 2.4 GHz will be used.

(b)  As a general rule, when 35 MHz is in use as a club frequency in both clubs, they should not operate closer together than 2 miles unless an agreement has been negotiated between them giving an equitable and workable frequency sharing plan. The ‘block’ frequency sharing arrangement is the safest and most common method. The use of odds/evens split by power and glider clubs flying close together is another, lesser used example (see the section ‘Frequency Allocation at Club Sites’).

(c)  Both parties are bound by the implications of radio transmission law and the Air Navigation Order to take action.  Therefore, please take note that negotiation in such circumstances (i.e. where interference is possible) is mandatory.

(d)  The use of the 35 MHz frequency bands and channels is legally granted to all of us but no one group or individual has the ‘right’ to reserve the use of any of the frequencies, no matter how long they have been using them on a particular site, and whoever turns on a transmitter first in any given situation is the legal user of that frequency until they turn the transmitter off.

(e)  It is recommended that each negotiating club or group appoints a named person as a point of contact, possibly from its existing Committee members. Good communication is important in these circumstances to avoid misunderstandings occurring and rumour spreading and to make sure that your flying is as safe as possible.

(f) It must always be borne in mind that continuing to operate in these circumstances, (i.e. using 35 MHz as a model control frequency) without reaching a practical frequency sharing agreement may have serious legal consequences under the terms of the Air Navigation Order and may also have insurance implications for both the pilots and clubs concerned.

12.2    Model Flying Heights and Interaction with Full Size Aviation
(a)  At flying sites very close to airports and aerodromes, liaison should be maintained with the airport authorities to agree any special precautions needed. For instance, in certain cases, safe model flying heights might need to be arranged.

(b)  Models under 7 kg are not subject to any specific legal restrictions in this respect but you must always remember that Articles 240 and 241 of the Air Navigation Order (which cover endangering) apply at all times to all models and possible conflict with full size aircraft MUST be avoided.

(c)  You do, however, have rights as model flyers and the operators of airports and aerodromes may not simply say that you cannot fly without giving very good reasons. In any situations where they will not listen to your case or where a reasonable compromise cannot be reached you should contact the BMFA office as soon as possible for assistance.


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