• As the UK’s specialist aviation regulator, this five year strategic plan sets out how we propose to contribute to the development of the UK aviation sector over the five years from 2016–2021, what we want to achieve and how we plan to do it.

    Aviation affects almost all of us in some way. For frequent business flyers and families flying abroad on their annual holiday, the link with aviation is obvious. It is the same for the many thousands of companies and employees whose livelihoods depend on the provision of aviation services. For those who rarely or never step onto an aeroplane, the link is less tangible but just as real. From supplies of non-seasonal fresh food to tourism and high-value supplies for manufacturing, aviation is a key part of the way that we live, delivering benefits for the whole of the UK. Aviation also has less positive effects. Many feel strongly affected by aviation noise and changes to the design of airspace, and want more done to reduce the sector’s environmental impacts.

    In many ways our regulatory strategies look familiar but this familiarity should not mask the scale of the challenges we face. These include:

    • completing the move from compliance- to performance-based regulation in the area of safety and taking significant steps in that direction in security;
    • subject to the Government’s decisions on new runway capacity in the South East of England, building a robust approach to the funding and cost to users of any new infrastructure;
    • playing an effective role in the biggest series of airspace changes ever in the UK in some of the busiest airspace in Europe, including taking into account the views of all stakeholders impacted;
    • radically overhauling our approach to holiday protection and using information to strengthen the power of consumers in deciding on the services they receive; and
    • finding ways of delivering more effective consumer redress, such as the move to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) arrangements.

    These are just some of the challenges we face. What is at stake is the real-world experience of the many stakeholders who we aim to serve.