UK CAA focus remains regulatory challenges for BVLOS drone flights in the ‘specific’ category

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is working to address the remaining regulatory challenges that will enable authorised operators to operate Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) in a scaled, sustainable way. Throughout 2023, the authority will publish further information and will consult on specific areas to progress BVLOS operations.

In the short term, the CAA plans to enable airspace operations in a-typical air environments such as operations around power lines or railway infrastructure. In the medium to long term, the CAA plans to focus on electric conspicuity and visual and electronic detect and avoid solutions.

A new youtube video and podcast sets out the authority’s four-pillar strategy based on four primary areas of work:

Pilot competency

Industry wants a simpler, more standardised mechanism to demonstrate the competence of their pilots when flying BVLOS. In collaboration with industry, we are developing the next phase of formal pilot competency, beyond the GVC, to support this.

Flightworthiness

Industry needs a formal, nationally recognised mechanism to demonstrate the robustness of their aircraft when applying for an Operational Authorisation. Alongside industry, we are developing a set of requirements for certain UAS that will be assessed by a network of Flightworthiness Recognised Assessment Entities.

Risk assessment

In order to authorise more complex UAS operations at scale, we need a more suitable mechanism to assess and mitigate risk. To that end, the UK will be adopting a slightly amended version of the JARUS 2.5 Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA). The primary amendments will come from the Air Risk Class to take into account, primarily, exemptions to the UK Standardised European Rules of the Air.

Airspace 

How we safely integrate BVLOS operations into the UK’s busy and compact airspace is one of the key challenges. Initially, we are exploring the use of an atypical air environment to sufficiently address the mid-air-collision risk when operating in non-segregated airspace. In the medium to long term our focus is on enabling a regulatory landscape which supports the adoption of detect and avoid technologies, as well as electronic conspicuity.

Access the video here

For more information visit:

www.caa.co.uk

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