The UK’s aviation watchdog the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has released several new proposals on out-of-sight drone flight regulations as part of the UK’s Future Flight Programme. 

Current drone flights that go beyond the visual line of sight are rare in the UK and under strict restrictions.  

Instead, the CAA has proposed that out-of-sight drone flight could take place safely as long as drones remain at low altitudes and are flown near buildings or infrastructure. These measures are meant to make it less likely for drones to be flown near airplanes. 

These proposed rules could make it easier for drones to be used in industries that are involved in inspecting hard to reach infrastructure, like railways and power lines. However, the CAA stated that it could also benefit the agricultural sector by making drones easier to use for site security and observation. 

The UK’s Future Flight Programme is an investment of £300m towards emerging aviation technologies made by UK Research and Innovation and was announced in December 2023. 

The CAA’s head of remotely piloted aircraft systems Kevin Woolsey described the proposals as a “positive step” towards unlocking the potential of drones in the UK. 

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

“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,” Woolsey stated.

“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,” he said.

There will be a consultation period for the proposed regulations that will last for six weeks from 20 February. 

In its 2022 thematic intelligence report into drones, research and analysis company GlobalData forecast that the global drone market could reach a value of $89.9bn by 2030.