• Final report builds on measures announced by the CAA in January
  • Report includes further safety requirements for 2016 air display season 

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today published the final report from its Civil Air Display Review, confirming a series of measures aimed at making UK civil air displays even safer.

The review was launched immediately after the tragic Shoreham Air Show accident in August last year. It has been focused on the regulation of civil air displays as a whole. 

Today's report builds on the measures already announced in the action report the CAA published in January this year, which included enhanced risk assessments for displays and strengthening requirements for areas such as training and checks for those overseeing displays and the experience, skill and health of display pilots.

In addition to those actions, the CAA's final report confirms further safety requirements that air show organisers and display pilots will have to meet for the 2016 air display season. These are designed to enhance further the existing system and help make sure UK civil air shows are even safer. They include:

  • Strengthening post-display reporting requirements to reflect the importance of feedback and safety reporting from air displays;
  • Increasing the distance between the display line and crowd line for any situations where distances were previously less than those in place for military displays; 
  • Increasing the minimum altitude at which ex-military jet aircraft can undertake aerobatic manoeuvres; and
  • Strengthening the competency requirements for pilots performing aerobatic manoeuvres in civil registered, ex-military jet aircraft.

Dame Deirdre Hutton, Chair of the CAA, said:

“We began this review immediately after the accident at Shoreham last summer with the sole purpose of doing all that we can to make UK civil air shows even safer. It has been an extensive review, looking closely at all aspects of air show safety to identify any areas where the system can be strengthened.

“Air shows are enjoyed by millions of people up and down the country and we want them to be successful. And while we recognise implementing these changes will require significant work from the air show community, we believe they are essential to enhancing the safety of UK air shows and safety must always be the top priority.

“We are already working with the air show community to make sure these measures are implemented for the upcoming display season and beyond, and so that the public has every confidence that UK air shows meet the highest safety standards.”

The CAA's Civil Air Display Review has been overseen by a challenge panel, put in place to scrutinise and critique the CAA's work. The panel was chaired by Geoffrey Podger CB, former Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Executive.

Following the publication of the final report, the CAA's ongoing implementation, oversight and commitment to working with the display community to make sure air shows have the highest levels of safety will continue. All the changes included in today's final report, as well as those announced in January, will be reviewed at the end of the 2016 air display season, when we will seek the views of those involved in air displays for feedback. The CAA will also consider if further changes and enhancements are required following the future publication of the AAIB report into the Shoreham accident.

The CAA has also reiterated that restrictions introduced immediately after the Shoreham accident will remain in place until the final AAIB report into the accident is published and the CAA can review its findings. Those restrictions were:

  • Grounding all UK civilian Hunter aircraft;
  • Restricting the display manoeuvres of similar ex-military jet aircraft over land to fly-pasts only; and
  • Requiring additional risk assessments for displays.

The final report of the Civil Air Display Review is available at www.caa.co.uk/cap1400

For further media information contact the CAA Press Office on: 00 44 (0)207 453 6030 or press.office@caa.co.uk

Notes to editors

  1. More information about the air display review, including its Terms of reference and full details of the challenge panel, can be found on the CAA's website.
  2. The changes detailed in the CAA's review apply to UK civil air displays, civilian licensed pilots and aircraft. They do not apply to displays organised by the UK armed forces at Ministry of Defence airfields.
  3. The air display review action report was published in January and followed publication in October of a Progress Report which detailed the Review's early work and the areas of air display regulation it intended to focus on.