• Call for new Sandbox applications 

  • 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

  • The Regulatory Sandbox provides a capability for users to work with the CAA to test and trial innovative solutions in a safe environment, in particular those solutions that do not fit within the existing scope of regulations, permissions, and exemptions.

    Innovators will receive:

    • support from a dedicated case officer who will work with them to review what they want to achieve, what permission and approvals are required and how to undertake the necessary application processes

    • development of a trial plan to enable iterative testing and knowledge sharing that will inform future regulations with best practice learnings being shared across the sector

    • access to the regulatory toolbox, i.e. a library of guidance to prepare the submission of their operational safety cases. Note that the innovation team will not provide approvals. These will be assessed independently by our regulatory teams

    • access to a community of partners across the innovation ecosystem.

    We have on-boarded six companies for the launch of the sandbox.

    The six companies and their projects are:

    • Altitude Angel

      a company providing innovative solutions for airspace, unlocking the potential of unmanned aircraft to fly in airspace across the world.

    • Amazon

      We are working with Amazon on their Prime Air project, a planned delivery system designed to safely and quickly get packages to customers using unmanned aerial vehicles or drones.

    • NBEC Consortium
      The NBEC Team (Cranfield, Blue Bear Systems Research, Thales and Vodafone) are creating an experimentation corridor that will enable drones and unmanned aircraft to have their locations tracked and thus safely fly in the same airspace as manned aircraft.

    • NATS

      We are working with air traffic control body NATS, to implement new technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital air traffic control towers.

    • Nesta

      Innovation foundation Nesta’s Flying High programme aims to maximise the economic and social benefits of drone technology to UK cities. They are working to challenge and develop sustainable drone systems to create a safe, innovative future.

    • Volocopter

      We are working with Volocopter, a company developing electrically powered urban air taxis (#eVTOLs) – known as drone taxis – to help modern cities solve their increasing mobility issues.

    The CAA’s sandbox team will work closely with the companies to help them develop their projects so that they meet the UK’s high safety standards and the CAA’s regulatory requirements. Ultimately enabling them to bring their new aviation and travel products and services to market.

    We will be recruiting more participants for on-boarding later in the year, and we would love to hear more about your organisation, your innovation, and how we could help you.

    If you have a proposal you would like to discuss with us, please complete our submission form.

  • Privacy notice - how we use your data

    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.requests@caa.co.uk.  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.