• Rationale 

    The UAS sector as we know it is going through significant and fundamental change. There is an expectation of continued increased use of small UAS by recreational as well as business users. UAS technology offers societal and business benefits that need to be enabled without causing undue risk to other aviation users or the general public. It is a global issue which requires global and regional alignment of the regulatory approach.

    The CAA must be appropriately organised to efficiently address this developing aviation sector. There is a need for proportionate and risk based regulation that can accommodate future technologies without the need for substantial future revision, without undue burden on other aviation stakeholders.

    Outcomes

    The CAA UAS programme is divided into three focus areas of delivery: safety; efficiency and effectiveness and support the Government’s UK Drone Strategy.

    This is a programme of CAA workstreams to enable:

    • The safe integration of UAS into the UK’s Total Aviation System.

    • A permissive regulatory environment, with an innovative, harmonised and integrated national regulatory framework that runs in parallel with influencing and developing international policy and regulations. 

    • Clarification of the risks posed by drones.

    • Identifiable safety benefits that have been realised through UAS related technological developments which could be exploited within other areas of aviation.

    • An environment that actively encourages industry to develop UAS solutions.

    Actions

    • Support the UK Government’s Emerging Technology drive, specifically the UAS pathfinder projects.

    • Influence international developments on UAS related procedures, regulations and standards, ensuring that the UK point of view is proactively represented at the relevant European and International Working Groups.

    • Safety promotion and industry engagement to encourage the safe use of drones and industry best practice.

    • Investigate possible technical mitigation options and implement as required.

    • Influence future European regulation, understand how to align ourselves with it and refine our current regulatory framework in preparation for this.

    • Influence and support the DfT led Government Drone Strategy.