The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has signed
a Memorandum of Understanding with Boeing as part of the CAA’s
Innovation Sandbox project.
The Sandbox 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; and
- Development of a proposed set of operational
procedures to support BVLOS operations.
Steve Nordlund, vice president and general manager
of Boeing NeXt, said, “We share the goal of promoting innovation
and emerging technologies. At Boeing NeXt, we are working to lay
the foundation for a future mobility ecosystem in which autonomous
and piloted vehicles can safely coexist. Test-and-learn projects
like those we’ll undertake with CAA are invaluable in that
Boeing will also perform a series of test
flights to evaluate the projects outlined above.
Frédéric Laugère, Innovation Services Lead at the
UK Civil Aviation Authority, said, “Unlocking the potential for
safe, everyday 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.”
The MOU is
currently slated to last through 2020.