The UAS sector continues to evolve and grow in line with the development of new technical capabilities and the identification of additional capabilities that UAS solutions can provide. Use of unmanned aircraft in both recreational and business applications continues to increase and this upward trend is expected to continue. UAS technology offers societal and business benefits that need to be enabled without causing undue risk to other aviation users or the general public. UAS integration is a global issue which requires global and regional alignment of the regulatory approach.
The CAA must be appropriately organised and resourced 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.
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.
- An enabling 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.
- An appropriately informed and educated population of UAS operators, irrespective of their aviation background.
- Support the UK Government’s Emerging Technology drive.
- 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 including ICAO, EASA and JARUS.
- Safety promotion to the general public, and industry engagement to encourage the safe use of drones and industry best practice.
- Investigate possible technical mitigation options and recommend implementation as required.
- Influence future European regulation and future proof UK regulation using appropriate channels, understand how to align ourselves with it and refine our current regulatory framework in preparation for this.
- Influence and support both the DfT led Government Drone Strategy domestically, and international UAS implementation strategies such as U-Space/UTM.