• 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

    Tel: 020 7453 6732

  • 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.

    Crispin Beale

    Crispin is Chief Executive of Chime Communications plc's Insight & Engagement Division (CIE Group) as well as a Board Director of the Market Research Society (MRS). Prior to joining Chime Crispin was Group Director of Insight at Royal Mail Group and looked after Marketing Services & Advertising for Post Office Ltd. Crispin originally qualified as a chartered accountant and then worked in marketing and consultancy with Coopers & Lybrand and has also headed the customer and insight functions at BT plc and Dixons Stores Group.

    Sarah Chambers

    Sarah is a Director in the Department of Energy & Climate Change, and was previously Director of Consumer & Competition Policy at the Department of Business Innovation & Skills, following a spell as Chief Executive of Postcomm. She is also a Panel Member of the Judicial Appointments Commission and of the Bar Standards Board, and member of the Advisory Board of the University of East Anglia Centre for Competition Policy.

    Philip Cullum

    Philip leads the Ofgem consumer team which provides policy analysis, research and new thinking on consumer and demand-side issues. He is a former member of the government's Regulatory Policy Committee, Risk and Regulation Advisory Council and Better Regulation Commission and has advised government on regulation in a range of sectors from financial services to airports. Previously Philip was Deputy Chief Executive of the statutory watchdog Consumer Focus, and has held senior roles in the National Consumer Council and Which?. He has also been an Associate Partner at Accenture, responsible for creating new thinking on business trends and corporate strategy, and Executive Director at Opinion Leader Research.

    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.

    Alastair Keir

    Experienced in finance and investment. Alastair has worked with a large number of companies in all areas of financial strategy and planning. He has just stepped down as Chief Executive of energy investment company, Salix Finance Ltd and along with this new CAA consumer panel role, is currently a lay member of the global regulatory board of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, which oversees professional best practice amongst RICS members.

    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.

    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.