CAA issues guide for BVLOS UAV flights


The UK Civil Aviation Authority has published its first guide for the drone industry in regard to beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations

According to the organisation, the guide focusses on the importance of testing and technological development, while also setting out the need for “the regulator and innovators to build, test, learn and repeat in partnership, in small steps.”

The authority has stated its desire for BVLOS flights to become an “everyday occurrence,” due to anticipated benefits in the realms of street mapping, long distance aerial surveys, as well as surveillance at the scene of an accident or incident.

Current such operations require permission from the CAA, and can only occur in specific, restricted cases.
Speaking of the guide, acting head of the UK Civil Aviation Authority's innovation team, David Tait said: “Enabling everyday drone flying beyond visual line of sight is a game changer.

“It will provide the opportunity for unmanned vehicles to monitor critical infrastructure, make deliveries and support our daily lives in an efficient and environmentally friendly way. We are now working closely with some of the world's leading innovators to make these amazing possibilities a reality.”

John McKenna, CEO of - a start-up developing technology to enable BVLOS - said: “Under conventional visual line of sight rules, operations have virtually zero economies of scale.

“By contrast, a centralised [via a control room] BVLOS approach improves on almost every measure with scale, including quality, safety, responsiveness and cost.”

The initial focus for is on closed industrial sites, with tests planned in collaboration with organisations such as Skanska, Atkins and the Fire and Rescue Service.

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