Kennedys responds to CAA proposals for BVLOS drone operations in atypical air environments

On 2 April 2024, Kennedys submitted a response to the Civil Aviation Authority’s second consultation of the year on drone regulation.

This consultation posed only one question: please provide your views on the proposed policy on Unmanned Aircraft operations within an atypical air environment.

We confirmed that we fully support the need to develop policy to allow beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights in atypical air environments in a safe and scaled way. However, we stressed that the increased risks attached to this policy change necessitate a need for the provision of mandatory insurance.

Scope of consultation proposals

There has been the ability for some drones to fly BVLOS in the UK for several years, but these flights are primarily trials and operate under strict restrictions.

The proposals set out in the consultation are intended to help operators fly their drones safely BVLOS of the remote pilot in what has been called an atypical air environment.

An atypical air environment is described 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’.

The proposed policy is to enable BVLOS operations in environments where fewer aircraft operate, by remaining at low heights and close to buildings and infrastructure. 

Kennedys’ response

We took this opportunity to reinforce our position that it is imperative that the CAA continues to consider the changes required to the existing legal framework and insurance requirements for both consumers and manufacturers when expanding the ability for drones to carry out BVLOS flights in atypical air environments.

Specifically, this refers to the need for mandatory insurance for routine flights BVLOS of the remote pilot. This is because the risks of potential claims - whether third party claim or hull claims – are likely increase significantly when routinely flying BVLOS.

We also reiterated that access to the data available from any Flight Information and Notification system (FINS) that is introduced would be a valuable asset to the insurance industry, as this could be utilised to price and assess the risks of these new operations.


Insurance was not mentioned in the materials provided to support this policy proposal, nor was flight data capture. While we appreciate that the CAA’s focus is towards drone operators and pilots, the need for mandatory insurance and the ability to capture and share drone flight data should not be overlooked when considering and implementing any policy change.

As stated in our response to the CAA’s January consultation, this is a rapidly developing area, and regular conversations with all stakeholders are essential to ensure that the regulatory framework keeps pace with the constantly evolving technology and the expanding use of drones.

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Kennedys responds to CAA consultation on drones urging more insurance and legal stakeholder engagement

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