UAS technology is rapidly advancing and the range of use cases for UAS is growing, from drone deliveries, through Search & Rescue operations, to inspection of assets and infrastructures. However, gaining regulatory approval for BVLOS operations of UAS in unsegregated airspace remains a challenge. Many organisations have approached us to discuss this specifically.
Several regulatory questions must be addressed in order to improve knowledge in the ecosystem, and to enable the development of appropriate regulatory frameworks with associated approval mechanisms.
We are actively exploring these regulatory questions through the work we are doing with our current Sandbox participants. We are keen to accelerate our learnings and gain additional knowledge that we can share with all innovators. We are therefore looking for additional organisations willing to work with us to explore the viability of their solutions for BVLOS operations of UAS in unsegregated airspace.
> Sandbox brief and application details
We have launched the CAA’s Innovation Hub to help innovators bring their new aviation and travel products and services to market.
The Innovation Hub is taking a forward-looking perspective, enabling innovators to test novel technologies and new business models across our remit. This will allow innovators to better understand the existing regulatory frameworks, best practice lessons to be shared across the sector, and prepare the CAA to develop a better understanding of innovations and how existing regulations may need to evolve.
The hub will simplify the way innovators reach out to the CAA. It will provide education, awareness and information about the path to regulatory assessments and approval, and how engaging with the CAA can better inform the development of their innovation.
In making this new approach available, the CAA will remain focussed on its role of protecting the consumer and the public.
The innovation hub offers three services:
An innovation gateway
Allowing innovators to access information about existing regulatory frameworks, seek guidance on how to engage with the CAA and receive education on areas of regulatory complexity. The gateway will also allow innovators to submit ideas for the aviation and travel sector and get a quick answer from us as to whether it needs regulatory input or approval.
A regulatory sandbox
Where users can work with the CAA to test and trial innovative solutions in a safe environment, in particular those solutions that may not fit within the existing scope of regulations, permissions, and exemptions.
A regulatory lab
This will set out a roadmap and develop test cases in key areas of interest, initially looking at issues like automation and urban air mobility. Bringing together everyone with an interest in the area such as other regulators, academia and the public, to develop potential regulatory models and avoid duplication between agencies.
For any general enquiries, please contact us through our email address:
If you have a proposal that you would like to discuss with us, please
complete our submission form.
Following a successful bid for funds from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the CAA has set up a new team to facilitate innovation throughout the aviation and travel industries. Our new team combines years of experience from a range of different sectors, including but not limited to aviation.
We have a range of expertise from running start-up businesses to managing innovation in private corporations, and from leading research projects in data analytics for aerospace applications, to developing regulatory policies for commercial space flights.
We enable innovators to bring new aviation products and services to market. Our vision is to make the UK an attractive place for aviation industry innovators, whilst at all times working to protect consumers and the public.
The UK CAA’s Innovation team collects and stores your name, organisation name, contact address, email address and telephone number for the purpose of contacting you throughout the innovation consultation process.
The processing of your personal data is necessary for the purposes of our, or our third party's, legitimate interests and does not affect your fundamental rights and freedoms as a data subject.
We sometimes need to share details of your innovation and personal details with other organisations within the aviation industry. Where this is necessary we are required to comply with all aspects of the GDPR. Your information will be shared for the purpose of contacting you throughout the innovation consultation process.
The system used to process your information is provided by Avoka, based in Germany, and they have routine access to your information to provide services to us.
We retain your personal information for the duration of our relationship with you and, thereafter, for a period of two years for ongoing monitoring of related innovations and audit purposes.
You may withdraw consent at any time, submit an enquiry or make a complaint by emailing FOI.email@example.com. Further rights as a data subject can be found here.
How to contact the CAA's Data Protection Officer.
You have a right to complain to the ICO about the CAA's processing of personal data.
Access our General privacy notice.
This privacy notice was last updated on 1 May 2019 and is subject to change.
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