• The CAA Consumer Panel was established in October 2012. The Panel has internal independence from the CAA and acts as a ‘critical friend’, scrutinising and challenging all of the CAA’s work.

    The main aim of the panel is to be a champion for the interests of consumers and our members have a very broad range of skills and experience in this area. Collectively, the Panel has a deep understanding of the regulatory environment both through the development of policy in the consumer interest, and through practical experience of how business best operates within a regulatory framework. The Panel brings strategic thinking and outstanding analytical aptitude, and the ability to apply these in a practical way to improve the experience for consumers in this important industry.

    The key activities of the Panel are to:

    • help the CAA to understand fully, and take account of, the interests of consumers in its policy development and decisions.
    • use existing CAA research, request the CAA to undertake new targeted research, and to gather intelligence, to understand the aviation consumer experience.
    • provide the CAA with feedback from a consumer perspective on the effectiveness of its policies and practices.
    • help the CAA develop its approach to consumer engagement to inform its work.
    • challenge the CAA on behalf of aviation consumers, as appropriate, and if required, through publicly available written notices, in order to positively influence outcomes for passengers.
    • maintain an overview of developments in the aviation market from a passenger perspective and developments affecting consumers in other markets.

    The Panel welcomes correspondence from consumers about their experience of the aviation sector, including the work of the CAA. However, while we may use feedback from consumers to inform our thinking and our advice to the CAA, we are not a complaints handling or consumer advice service and are unable to enter into correspondence with individuals.

    If you need advice and assistance, including if you are not satisfied with a complaint you have made an airline or an airport, please contact the CAA’s Passenger Advice and Complaints Team.

    For more information on the Panel please contact:

    CAA Consumer Panel
    CAA House
    45-59 Kingsway
    WC2B 6TE

    Email: consumerpanel@caa.co.uk

  • The CAA Consumer Panel membership brings together strategic thinking and outstanding analytical aptitude and the ability to apply these in a practical way to improve the experience for commercial air passengers.

    Keith Richards, Chair

    Keith is a barrister, arbitrator and commercial mediator. He has served as an independent member and non-exec director on regulatory bodies in a variety of sectors and specialises in professional / industry self-regulation, consumer rights, and alternative redress. He previously served as Head of Business and Professional Development and Consumer Affairs at the travel industry body, ABTA. He was a Member of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Consumer Affairs Panel and served as its Deputy Chair for a while. For 9 years Keith was Vice-Chair of the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) and Chair of its International Working Group covering Aviation and Maritime. For many years he served as Senior Campaigns Lawyer at Which?, and as legal editor of the journal Consumer Policy Review.

    Sarah Chambers

    Sarah is an expert in regulation, competition and consumer policy.  She was Chief Executive of Postcomm, the postal services regulator, and held various senior roles in the Department of Business Innovation & Skills  (including Director of Consumer & Competition Policy) and the Department of Energy & Climate Change.  She is currently a Panel Member of the Competition & Markets Authority, and has a number of other public appointments and non-executive roles.

    Ann Frye

    Ann is an independent international specialist on the transport needs of disabled and older people. She advises governments, public, commercial and professional bodies on sustainable policy solutions to meet mobility needs in all transport modes, including aviation. She has worked in this field for over 25 years primarily in the UK Government Department for Transport where she led a major programme of research, policy and legislation on disability and other equality issues. Ann is a Fellow of both the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, and is a Visiting Professor at University College London.

    Steven Gould

    Steven is currently Director of Regulation at RICS, a UK based professional body with an international regulatory and consumer protection role in the land, property and construction sector. Earlier in his career, Steven worked in Whitehall on government policy and then at Which? He is currently a non executive Director of Ombudsman Services Ltd and has previously served on a number of complaints handling organisations either as a Director or a panel member.

    Robert Laslett

    Robert is a professional economist who has worked as a senior manager and Board member in regulation, government and consultancy. Most recently he was Executive Director for Goods, Cartels and Consumer markets at the Office of Fair Trading, and prior to that was Director of Private Pensions and steward of the Pensions Regulator and Pension Protection Fund at the Department for Work and Pensions. Earlier in his career he headed the London office of Charles River Associates and was with the World Bank in Washington DC.

    Trisha McAuley

    Trisha McAuley is a consumer expert, a non-executive director and a management consultant.  She was formerly the Senior Director for Scotland of Consumer Futures, and Consumer Focus Scotland. Trisha has twenty years' experience as a successful senior leader in consumer affairs in Scotland and the UK, developing consumer policy, and advising government, regulators, service providers and businesses on how best to engage with, and take account of the needs of consumers and service users, particularly those who are most disadvantaged or vulnerable.  Trisha is also Vice-Chair of the Board of Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership, a Non-executive Director of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Northern Ireland Water, and East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership.  She is the public interest member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland (ICAS) Discipline Board and a member of the Ofgem Gas Network Innovation Competition Expert Panel.  Trisha has also established her own consultancy (McAuley Policy and Management Ltd), providing strategic advice on how companies, governments and service providers can add value by embedding the public interest into their governance and operations.  Trisha was awarded an OBE in the 2015 New Year Honours list for services to consumer affairs.

    Adam Scorer

    Anthony Smith

    Anthony is the Chief Executive of Passenger Focus. Having qualified as a solicitor, Anthony worked for five years as principal consumer lawyer for Which? This was followed by a year as the legal consultant for Consumers International, a worldwide federation of consumer groups. Prior to joining Passenger Focus, Anthony was deputy and acting director of ICSTIS, the regulator of premium rate telephone services.

    Claire Whyley