Aerospace and defence company Boeing and the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

The MoU is part of the CAA’s Innovation Sandbox project, which allows participants to explore and test innovative aviation solutions in a safe and real-world conditions-controlled environment.

As part of this, Boeing will focus on projects to make safe beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) operations by unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) above 400ft possible.

The company will also explore minimum requirements for detect-and-avoid (DAA) solutions, as well as assess and evaluate them.

UK Civil Aviation Authority Innovation Services lead Frédéric Laugère 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 scheduled to last through this year. The Innovation Sandbox project is part of CAA’s newly formed Innovation Hub.

Boeing Europe president and Boeing UK and Ireland managing director Martin Donnelly said: “This partnership reflects our continued commitment to the future of the UK and global aerospace.

“It comes shortly after our investments in UK start-up companies through our ATI Boeing accelerator and is a sign of Boeing’s recognition of the UK’s great strength in innovation.”