Drones free to fly low around buildings in latest CAA proposal

BVLOS drones

Drones could soon be flying low around buildings and other infrastructure without the remote pilot being in visual contact, according to new proposal put forward today by the UK CAA.

Inspections of railways, powerlines, farms and roads, plus emergency medical deliveries, are among the uses suggested in the proposal.

A consultation on what the CAA calls an ‘Atypical Air Environment’ will run for six weeks. A link to the consultation is below.

Kevin Woolsey, Head of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems at the CAA, said, “Our proposals are a positive step towards unlocking the next stage for drone flying in the UK.

“Allowing drones to fly beyond the sight of the Remote Pilot, without placing restrictions on other aircraft in the area, will be a major achievement for UK drone operations.

“Safety comes first in everything we do and so we have identified sensible mitigations on where drones can fly using this proposed concept to make sure we maintain levels of safety.”

Drones can also be used for power line inspections. Photo: National Grid

Drones can also be used for power line inspections. Photo: National Grid

The CAA went on to describe an Atypical Air Environment: “An atypical air environment can be considered as a volume of airspace where you can reasonably anticipate there to be a reduced number of conventionally piloted aircraft due to the proximity of ground infrastructure.

“Operating within an atypical air environment does not address any aspect of ground risk that the operation may pose.

“It is likely that certain elements of ground risk are increased by operating close to infrastructure. It is for the operator to propose how they intend to mitigate other areas of risk, including seeking any relevant approval and ensuring coordination with the infrastructure owner, as required.”

Click here to take part in the CAA’s Atypical Operations Consultation


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