• Innovation team guidance and updatesThe 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

    Regulatory Readiness

    Dangerous Goods

    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.

    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.

    Advanced Air Mobility: Taking a Use Case Approach

    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.

    Social Licence to Operate: Concept Guide for New Technologies (CAP 1900)

    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.

    Testing Novel Technology in UK Airspace: A Guide for Innovators (CAP 1930)

    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.

    Safety Management Systems (SMS) for Innovators (CAP 1931)


    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.

    A Unified Approach to the Introduction of UAS Traffic Management (CAP 1868)

    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.

    Beyond visual line of sight in non-segregated airspace (CAP 1861)  

    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.

    Detect and avoid ecosystem for BVLOS in non-segregated airspace (CAP1861a)

    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 ( CAP 1907) highlights the sections that must be included in order to provide the minimum required information.

    Concept of Operations (ConOps) Sandbox Guide (CAP 1907)

    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.

    Project Consortia Good Practice (CAP 1905)


    CAA On Air podcasts cover innovation, drones and recreational flying

    All our episodes are available online.

    Listen to the CAA's On Air podcast

    Articles and blogs

    The latest news, articles and blogs from the innovation team

    Watch a video around our work with Sees.ai about setting the path for beyond visual line of sight.

  • Contact us

    Get in touch with us at innovation@caa.co.uk 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.