The innovation landscape is changing quickly. Find out how we are responding to novel technologies and business models through iterative testing and trials with our partners.
Here you will be able to read our latest guidance papers, our viewpoints on future regulations and get information on regulatory approvals you may need to consider for conducting trials of your solutions
Our latest guidance and viewpoints
Airworthiness for Innovators
These two short guides provide guidance on regulations for innovators who intend to start the certification of their aircraft and want to conduct experimental flights of innovative aircraft.
- CAP2289 includes information on certification of aircraft
- CAP2290 includes information on experimental flying
Net Zero propulsion
Net Zero propulsion technologies are developing at pace. With this first report, CAP2284, we take a look at these innovations against the current legislative framework in the UK.
There are many potential opportunities for operators of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) to carry goods classified as ‘dangerous’, such as transporting medical supplies to remote areas.
CAP 2248 provides guidance to RPAS operators on the requirements and application process to gain approval from the CAA to carry dangerous goods in the UK, including a case study on dangerous goods related to COVID-19 relief efforts.
The CAA is currently refining its approach for assessing dangerous goods applications from RPAS operators, and we plan to update this publication to reflect future developments.
As a first step, the CAA (Dangerous Goods, Flight Operations) has provided an example Dangerous Goods Manual for RPAS operators carrying dangerous goods falling within UN3373 Biological Substances, Category B, which includes COVID-19 test samples.
2021 Regulators’ Pioneer Fund (RPF): Using Drones to Carry Dangerous Goods
As with any other mode of transport, the carriage of dangerous goods by RPAS requires additional safety considerations, such as training for handlers as well as special licences for the operator.
For this project, the CAA’s proposal for the RPF was to establish a test and approval regime for crash protected containers – special goods containers that would reduce the risk of leaks and spillage of its contents in the case of a crash.
This project has been made possible by a grant from the £3.7 million Regulators’ Pioneer Fund launched by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The fund enables UK regulators and local authorities to help create a UK regulatory environment that unleashes innovation and makes the UK the best place to start and grow a business.
CAP2838 describe the context, outcomes, approach, and next steps of the project.
What is an Aircraft?
Many types of new flying machines are being developed by industry. Some of them do not fit existing classifications.
However, they are still deemed to be aircraft from a legal perspective. This publication explains the legal definition of aircraft under existing regulation.
Advanced Air Mobility
The concept of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) is centred around the use of revolutionary new aircraft, but covers a range of themes from novel propulsion, through to new business models that enable new experiences for consumers.
This publication (CAP 2122) shares thinking from the Innovation Hub on the CAA’s use case approach to exploring AAM and its implications for regulation and the aviation sector.
A Safety Leadership Group specifically focussed on future e Vertical Take Off and Landing (eVTOL) operations has been set up
Social Licence to Operate
Public engagement has long been recognised as an important part of commercial strategy and ensuring success. When it comes to introducing highly innovative ideas to market this need to actively and effectively engage becomes even more critical.
This publication (CAP 1900) provides guidance on how innovators can build in social engagement as a key part of their development strategy.
Airspace Trials: A Guide for Innovators
The Airspace Trial is a mechanism for testing novel technology by providing suitable airspace constructs for this type of activity. This guide provides innovators with the background and guidance for an Airspace Trial.
Safety Management Systems for Innovators
A Safety Management System (SMS) is a systematic and proactive approach to managing safety risks related to your operation. The purpose of this guide is to provide an introduction to the SMS and describe how it can help you as an innovator.
UAS Traffic Management: Developing the concept
Building on CAP1868 and the work we’ve done since, this publication CAP2262 sets out how we are exploring the regulatory development of UTM in the UK.
This publication takes a high-level look at the strategic, safety and market considerations relevant to UTM, and provides initial details on upcoming opportunities to have your say.
A unified approach to UAS traffic management
The concept of UAS Traffic Management, or UTM, has been developing over the last few years, and this paper (CAP 1868) discusses the CAA position on this new ecosystem, as well as briefly exploring international and UK initiatives.
Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS)
Guidance for operating Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS)
We’ve designed this BVLOS guidance paper ( CAP 1861) to explain the fundamental principles of operating safely Beyond Visual Line of Sight in non-segregated airspace.
The paper describes the challenges that must be tackled to unlock the full potential for future UAS operations such as inspection of infrastructure and deliveries.
Besides the various challenges faced operating BVLOS, operations outside of segregated airspace must consider the other airspace users, who may or may not be electronically conspicuous.
CAP1861a introduces the necessary components for a system that can detect and avoid aircraft as well as other hazards.
Good practice guidance for innovators
Concept of Operations (ConOps) Sandbox Guide
A Concept of Operations (ConOps) is a mandatory requirement for any application to be considered for onboarding to the Innovation Hub’s Regulatory Sandbox. The purpose of a ConOps is to provide an overview of proposed trials, along with supporting information such as timelines and details of any novel technologies. This guidance (CAP1907) highlights the sections that must be included in order to provide the minimum required information.
Project Consortia Good Practice
From our experience working closely with consortia in our Regulatory Sandbox, this publication ( CAP 1905) shares some good practice guidance to support better working, efficiency, and success.
CAA On Air podcasts cover innovation, drones and recreational flying
All our episodes are available online.
Articles and blogs
The latest news, articles and blogs from the innovation team
- Building the dialogue between industry and regulators to facilitate innovation in aviation
- by Frederic Laugere, Innovation Services Lead
- Public acceptance will play a major role in the adoption and scaling-up of Urban Air Mobility
- by Frederic Laugere, Innovation Services Lead
- World Economic Forum Summit highlights opportunities for an innovative future
- by David Tait, Regulatory Innovation Lead
Watch a video around our work with Sees.ai about setting the path for beyond visual line of sight.
Get in touch with us at email@example.com if you’d like to provide us with feedback or if you have a burning question. We’d love to help you with your innovation.
If you have a proposal that you would like to discuss with us, please complete our submission form.
Provide page feedback
Please enter your comments below, or use our usual service contacts if a specific matter requires an answer.
Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.