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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.

Our latest guidance and viewpoints

The innovation landscape is changing quickly. We are always working to respond to new technologies and business models through constant testing and trials with our partners.

The sections below provide information on the Civil Aviation Authority's (CAA's) latest guidance and viewpoints on future regulations and details on regulatory approvals. 

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 unique propulsion, through to new business models that enable new experiences for consumers.

Advanced Air Mobility: Taking a Use Case Approach (CAP2122) 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.

The Future Flight Aircraft Capabilities: Exploring the requirements of next generation aircraft (CAP2522) study, commissioned by the CAA and funded by UKRI, gathered the publicly available performance data for 28 Future Flight Aircraft designed for the Advanced Air Mobility market to draw insights concerning technology novelty, compatibility with existing regulations, and implications for Take-Off and Landing infrastructure. The data provided in this report aims to inform stakeholders from aerodrome and vertiport developers, to ATM providers, airspace planners and many others.

Understanding the downwash/outwash characteristics of eVTOL aircraft (CAP2576) presents initial findings of the effects of downwash for the safe operation of eVTOL air vehicles. It does not constitute regulation and is intended to provide a basis for further debate and discussion between manufacturers, operators and regulators.

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Airworthiness for Innovators

Guide for Innovators: On the path to Certification – An Introduction to Initial Airworthiness (CAP2289) provides guidance on regulations for innovators who intend to start the certification of their aircraft.

Guide for Innovators: Getting Your Prototype off the Ground – An introduction to Experimental Flying (CAP2290) provides guidance on regulations for innovators who want to conduct experimental flights of innovative aircraft.

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Airspace Fundamentals and the Future of Flight

Airspace Fundamentals and the Future of Flight (CAP2530) provides general guidance on fundamental airspace concepts for regulatory teams working on innovation in services for UAS or RPAS, as well as new types of aircraft.

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. Testing Novel Technology in UK Airspace: A Guide for Innovators (CAP1930) provides an introduction to the fundamentals of UK airspace, and to the processes for requesting your own airspace for the purpose of testing your innovation.

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Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS)

Guidance for operating Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS)

Beyond Visual Line of Sight in Non-Segregated Airspace (CAP1861) explains 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 Unmanned Aircraft System (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.

Detect and avoid ecosystem for BVLOS in non-segregated airspace (CAP1861A) introduces the necessary components for a system that can detect and avoid aircraft as well as other hazards and to provides a framework to support the development and eventual approval of a proposed DAA solution.

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Cyber Security

With innovation, comes new technologies, bringing with it new challenges and cyber security risks. Whilst innovation projects continue to take place, we have written this Guidance for Innovators to utilise, so that your understanding of the cyber security risks to your specific project is broadened. We are by no means the experts in your projects, so we have taken a wide-ranging and general approach to explaining cyber security, whilst focusing on issues that have been raised to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Cyber Team throughout meetings with innovation project teams. Projects that start through innovation usually lead to commercialisation, which may end up being the subject of current or future regulation. Giving you this head-start in understanding the risks that you may encounter over the lifetime of your project, ensures that you are being prepared to implement controls, when necessary, to allow an easier journey to certification, whilst maintaining or improving safety margins.

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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.

RPAS Carriage of Dangerous Goods: Market Demand Summary (CAP2483) gives a view of the current market demands regarding the carriage of dangerous goods by Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS).

Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (CAP2248) provides guidance to RPAS operators on the requirements and application process to gain approval from the Civil Aviation Authority (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.

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 encourages innovation and makes the UK the best place to start and grow a business.

Using Drones to Carry Dangerous Goods using Crash Protected Containers, BEIS RPF2 Project Outcomes (CAP2383) report describes the context, outcomes, approach, and next steps of the RPF project.

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Horizon scanning

Technology and innovation continue to be a catalyst for change in several sectors. Signals and Trends related to Technology and Innovation in the Aviation Industry (CAP2499) by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Innovation team and Lufthansa Innovation Hub highlights the development, possible uses, and effects of technologies and innovations in aviation and similar industries. It also provides an overview of how the CAA innovation hub is addressing these innovations.

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Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM)

UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Traffic Management: Developing the concept

UAS Traffic Management Developing the Concept (CAP2262) sets out how the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) 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 the Introduction of UAS Traffic Management (CAP1868) explores the background of UAS Traffic Management, related workstreams across government and industry, and the current positions of the CAA. The paper also gives acknowledgment of the extent of impact that the integration of UAS into UK airspace could have across the whole aviation ecosystem.

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Net Zero Propulsion

The UK Legislative Framework – Towards Net Zero Aviation (CAP2284) publication provides an overview of the current aviation legislative frameworks and associated regulation, against the context of emerging net zero propulsion technologies.

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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.

Social Licence to Operate: Guide for New Technologies (CAP1900) provides guidance on how innovators can build in social engagement as a key part of their development strategy.

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Safety Management Systems for innovators

A Safety Management System (SMS) is a systematic and proactive approach to managing safety risks related to your operation.

Safety Management Systems (SMS) for Innovators (CAP1931) provides an introduction to the SMS and describe how it can help you as an innovator.

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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.

What is an Aircraft? (CAP2230) explains the legal definition of an aircraft under existing regulations.

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