Now our dedicated Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS or drone) unit has been up and running for a while the teams are settled into their roles providing a service to the whole UAS industry.
We have three main teams in the CAA that deal with the UAS sector.
Within the UAS team we have the sector team and the policy team. I lead the sector team of five specialists who deal with a range of applications and requests from, primarily, commercial operators.
Any given day could see us looking at operating safety case applications for nonstandard permissions and exemptions. These could include requests for beyond or extended visual line of sight operations, oversight and audits of approved operators and the national qualified entities (NQE) that recommend new approvals. We also provide ongoing assistance and answer enquires from all those we regulate with general and technical enquiries and assist enforcement agency when they come to us for advice and help.
The policy team deal with all our future regulation development, government work and engagement with official groups and bodies, for example the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). A recent example of the team's work is our involvement in helping to develop and guide the new EASA drone regulations for Europe. We work with parties across the world to help secure the best and safest options for the UK drone industry.
Our Shared Service Centre (SSC) processes standard permission applications, answers UAV enquiry emails and the enquiries phone line. This team is part of the wider SSC team that deals with the organisation's licences and transactions.
We then have support from other teams throughout the CAA including legal and the communications team that leads on all our consumer drone education and communication work.
As we go forward safety will always be our first priority, but we will also seek to match the drone sector desire to continue to develop and expand.
My aim is to improve the communications between our UAS unit and run regular blogs and podcasts on various subjects such as occurrence reporting, Safety Notices, risk assessments and so on.
If there's anything you'd particularly like us to cover please send us a comment below.