Sir Stephen Hillier, chair of the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), said the UK aviation industry is poised for the next revolution during his keynote speech at the Global Urban & Advanced Air Summit Asia in Singapore on Wednesday 27 September.

Speaking at the event, Sir Hillier explained how the regulator is working with the aviation and aerospace industry as well as government to support the safe development and roll-out of sustainable fuels, drones and new types of aircraft.

“Aviation now stands on the cusp of its next, and potentially biggest, revolution since the invention of the jet engine. Radically different types of vehicles have the potential to revolutionise the way people move around cities, improve transportation options, and contribute to a more sustainable aviation ecosystem,” he said.

“As the UK’s aviation and aerospace regulator, we have an important role in helping enable innovation and those technological advances, while focusing primarily on the safety of those who fly, and those on the ground below.

“We continue to work with other member states and regulators to take on that enormous challenge of regulating for the future in a collaborative way.”

One of those new technologies the CAA is helping to develop is electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. The regulator published its requirements for initial airworthiness certification requirements for VTOL aircraft earlier this year, which will help standardise an approach to safety certification for eVTOL aircraft, accelerating their development.

The regulator has also been developing guidance for the industry, to help inform and support development, and is collaborating with industry and government on reducing emissions in aviation too, exploring different fuel sources and supporting the government’s net-zero ambitions.
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