UK CAA authorises concept trial for routine BVLOS operations with command & control

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The UK Civil Aviation Administration (CAA) has authorised drone service provider to trial a concept for routine Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations. The permissions come as part of a test project to prove the concept ahead of potentially opening it up to the wider market. The company provides BVLOS command & control solutions for drone operators.

According to the press release, the authorisation enables to fly BVLOS at three nominated sites without needing to pre-authorise each flight. By removing this limitation, this permission enables the rapid growth of the drone industry. The authorisation allows BVLOS flights to occur under 46 meters and initially requires an observer to remain in visual line of sight with the aircraft and able to communicate with the remote pilot if necessary.

Innovators and the CAA continue to work on solutions to further the safety of future missions through new technologies such as automatic detect and avoid systems. Data gathered from these test flights will be used to consider the success of the operations and whether the risk and hazard assessments can be used to cover generic risks beyond the three trial sites.

This significant step forward was delivered under guidance from the UK CAA Innovation Sandbox. The Sandbox was set up in May 2019 to create an environment where innovation in aviation can be explored in line with CAA core principles of safety, security and consumer protection., whose senior team includes ex Arup, Apple, CERN, McLaren and hedge fund employees was one of the first entities selected into the Sandbox in September 2019. The authorisation is also an early win for UK Research & Innovation’s recent aviation & aerospace initiative, the Future Flight Challenge.



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