The World Solar Airship Race stimulates research into, and development of, sustainable air transport. The World Solar Airship Race is primarily a design competition. The regulatory philosophy is to provide the parameters on which to base the design, rather than specify exactly how to build a solar airship. Science and technology evolve and to encourage the most innovative ideas, event requirements also evolve. The detailed requirements and dates of the competition will be announced one year preceding the event.

Participation in the 2021 World Solar Airship Race calls for the design and construction of a solar airship within given design parameters, and flying the solar airship across the Atlantic Ocean from South Africa to Brazil of in accordance with these regulations.