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UK Civil Aviation Regulations

These are published by the CAA on our UK Regulations pages. EU Regulations and EASA Access Guides published by EASA no longer apply in the UK. Our website and publications are being reviewed to update all references. Any references to EU law and EASA Access guides should be disregarded and where applicable the equivalent UK versions referred to instead.

We are committed to making the safe flying of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) of the operator, an everyday occurrence. As part of the journey to achieving this aim we are working to address the regulatory challenges of scaled and sustainable BVLOS operations and produce a regulatory framework to enable Specific Category BVLOS operations in non-segregated airspace.

Our BVLOS Challenge

As part of this work, together with the Department for Transport, we are running a BVLOS Challenge with the objectives to:

  • make sure any implementation of BVLOS maintains high levels of public safety
  • quickly develop a clear strategy and understanding of what regulations, policies and processes need to be put in place to enable routine BVLOS operations in unsegregated airspace
  • provide a medium-term and long-term vision of routine BVLOS operations that could be possible with reducing operational constraints
  • collaborate with industry and give stakeholders confidence in our programme to deliver these objectives and provide clarity on what is achievable from a regulatory perspective

Dependencies to complete the work successfully:

  • alignment of our work with industry
  • growth and demand of industry
  • development and implementation of a new UK risk assessment methodology, known as Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA)
  • successful delivery of and alignment with the UK’s Airspace Modernisation Strategy
  • the successful production and performance of technical capabilities to allow safe BVLOS such as Detect and Avoid Technology (DAA)
  • external market demand for technical skills, affecting the CAA’s ability to retain/attract relevant expertise
  • successful progress and alignment of international standards and approaches

Our Approach

Our BVLOS challenge will be taking a phased approach to achieve RPAS integration into UK airspace rather than using segregation as the primary mitigation against mid-air collision. This will allow for repeatable, scaled BVLOS. The proposal is to achieve this via three stages:

Phase 1 by 2024: Routine BVLOS with broad operational constraints and additional pilot competency requirements

Phase 2 by 2026: Routine Specific Category BVLOS with reduced operational constraints using Electronic Conspicuity (EC) and Transponder Mandatory Zones as a strategic mitigation

Phase 3 Long term: Routine BVLOS with minimum operational constraints based on EC, Detect and Avoid (DAA), and enhanced flightworthiness of the RPAS involved

Our BVLOS challenge will focus on four primary areas of work as set out on our BVLOS webpage


Within those four areas of work these high-level workstreams form the structure of the BVLOS challenge:

  • BVLOS Integration Governance- documented governance of BVLOS Ecosystem for both internal and external stakeholders
  • BVLOS roadmap and engagement- a roadmap to routine BVLOS in non-segregated airspace in the near medium and short-term
  • Aircraft flight worthiness- develop a requirements framework and work with Recognised Assessments Entities to deliver
  • Pilot competency- develop competency frameworks and work with Recognised Assessments Entities to deliver
  • Safe operations- clear definition for industry of the system-wide approach to risk for BVLOS operations.
  • Scalable operations- ensuring that our processes and standards enable scalable BVLOS operations
  • Airspace environment- developing how airspace will evolve to incorporate BVLOS operations
  • Airspace services- defining the services that will enable scalable, routine BVLOS operations in non-segregated airspace
  • Costs and charges- developing our charging models for BVLOS operations