Fancy a crack at bringing space flight to the UK? The Civil Aviation Authority is hiring an innovation manager charged with that plus helping commercialise drone tech – and more.
The job description, as posted on the CAA website, says the successful candidate will be tasked with "creating the regulatory environment to facilitate the safe deployment in the UK of new technologies or business models", citing space flight, unmanned aircraft and cybersecurity as priorities.
Earlier this year a British trade body floated the idea of space tourism taking off (ho ho) in the UK. Rumours have swirled for a few years that a remote corner of Wales or Scotland could be turned into a UK spaceport, though the idea is just that and no more – for now.
"Our Innovation Team is dedicated to facilitating developments in the aviation industry that will be valuable to UK citizens; securing safe outcomes is the primary objective of the team's work. Currently the team is focussed on three main projects – a UK commercial spaceflight capability, exploitation of unmanned aircraft technology and aviation defences against evolving cyber threats," a CAA spokesman told us.
Experience in "aviation or other safety-critical industry" and "good commercial awareness" are advantages, naturally. So what does the post actually entail?
"The team identifies safety risks and opportunities presented by such developments, guides UK legislation and policy and helps the CAA to secure capability, as the UK aviation regulator, to ensure that the risks are controlled and the opportunities taken. As the projects taken on by the team change, so, too, do the professional capabilities needed in the team. The CAA is now looking for the right person to lead this constantly evolving, energetic, externally focussed and engaged professional team. For those wanting to make a positive difference to aviation, this has to rank as a pretty attractive and unique opportunity," added the spokesman.
If you fancy chucking your hat into the ring and telling Virgin Galactic (other nominally British space startups probably exist too) what to do and how to do it, the advert is here and it closes on September 21.
By the way, you'll also be responsible for integrating drone traffic management into UK airspace, which will almost certainly involve talking to companies such as Amazon about their planned drone delivery network. Enjoy! ®