Boeing and the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) as part of the CAA’s Innovation Sandbox project. The Innovation Sandbox is intended to help foster collaboration between industry and regulators, with the goal of shaping future regulation of the aviation and travel industries in the UK.
The Innovation Sandbox enables participants to work with the CAA to test and trial innovative aviation solutions in a safe and controlled environment, with a focus on solutions outside the existing scope of regulations. It is part of CAA’s newly-formed Innovation Hub and acts in an advisory capacity, separate from the regulatory approval function of the CAA.
Boeing’s work under the MOU will fall primarily into four categories:
- Development and review of a safety case to enable beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) above 400 feet
- Exploration of minimum requirements for detect and avoid (DAA) solutions as part of a layered safety case
- Assessment and evaluation of current DAA solutions against these requirements
- Development of a proposed set of operational procedures to support BVLOS operations
The company will also perform a series of test flights to evaluate the projects listed above. The MOU is currently slated to last through 2020.
Frédéric Laugère, Innovation Services Lead at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: “Unlocking the potential for safe, everyday beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations by unmanned aircraft is a key element of our innovation work. Boeing’s planned input in our regulatory sandbox will look to help address some of the key outstanding issues and will help significantly in driving this work forward. Boeing’s significant experience in all areas of aviation means it is well placed to not only drive forward unmanned flight but also consider how BVLOS operations will impact all areas of aviation.”
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