Thursday, October 21, 2021

Osprey Provides Support to UK CAA UAS Programme


Osprey was recently appointed to support the UK CAA Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) Programme to develop a baseline position on Small UAS regulations.

National and international regulatory bodies face an enormous challenge just to keep pace with the rapid evolution of Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) operations; at the same time they must steer UAS regulatory development towards a common framework.

To achieve this the UK CAA reorganised and restructured their UAS Programme; this resulted in an urgent requirement to develop a baseline position on Small UAS (SUAS) regulations and a framework to inform the development of future strategy and regulations.  At short notice, Osprey provided the resource and expertise required in this highly specialised topic.

Our Role

The work packages we have undertaken to support the UK CAA UAS Programme are:

  • A review of the existing UK SUAS regulations and guidance (including recommendations that will align future UAS regulation and guidance with the EASA Concept of Operations approach)
  • A literary review of open source material to provide evidence of the risks of a mid-air collision between a large manned aircraft and a SUAS
  • To act, on behalf of the CAA, as a key stakeholder in the UAS Mid Air Collision Study Group to enable research to be undertaken to provide quantitative evidence of the effects of a SUAS colliding with a large manned aircraft or a medium sized rotary wing aircraft.

Influencing Government Policy

The initial phases of the work packages have been completed including the SUAS regulation and guidance review.  This has enabled the UAS Programme to establish a strategic vision going forward and has already started to influence Government policy in this emerging technology sector.

In reviewing the global research literature, Osprey has been able to present the CAA with a well-researched and informed opinion of the likely risks of a mid-air collision between a manned aircraft and a SUAS; this key document is now being used to develop regulation and policy and informs the future strategic direction of UAS integration into the total aviation system.

The work was completed on time and within budget and gained praise from the CAA for its completeness, clarity and rigour.

“At short notice Osprey picked up and delivered an extremely well researched piece of UAS analysis with a number of recommendations that we can take forward into delivery. The work is high risk and will inform political decision making in the UK and set a precedent across the world.

The work they have delivered to date has met the agreed scope and quality. They have delivered to the timeframe and within the cost agreed without the need to direct or oversee the detail, which was extremely important especially when one of the reasons for the commercial arrangement with Osprey was due to internal resource constraints. The review and report they have completed will feed directly into UK Government policy as well as influence European and International policy direction for RPAS.”

Civil Aviation Authority

By providing the CAA with well-researched and comprehensive reports Osprey has, and continues to, inform the UK’s UAS strategic direction.