CAA to merge safety and airspace policy functions

Date: 24 April 2013

The CAA has announced that it is to merge the activities of its Safety Regulation Group and Department of Airspace Policy, with effect from 1 July 2013. The new, merged department will be led by Mark Swan, currently the CAA’s Director of Airspace Policy.

The change follows Safety Director Gretchen Haskins’ decision not to seek a reappointment to the CAA Board when her current fixed term expires. She will remain at the CAA supporting the transition and working on a number of strategic safety projects in the UK and internationally, before leaving the organisation in the Autumn.

CAA Chief Executive, Andrew Haines, said: “Merging the functions of our airspace policy and safety departments has been a possibility that has been considered for a number of years, not least in the 2008 review of the CAA undertaken by Sir Joseph Pilling. In the light of Gretchen’s decision not to seek reappointment to the Board, now seemed like the right time to make that change. There are real safety benefits from consolidating our safety and airspace management activities in one place.

“It has been an absolute privilege to work with Gretchen over the past three years. Her understanding of and commitment to aviation safety is exceptional and she has made an enormous contribution to the CAA.

“Mark Swan brings huge strengths to his new role. His leadership of our airspace work has won him considerable respect both within the UK and internationally and he spent many years as a pilot during his service in the RAF.”

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Notes to Editors:

The CAA is the UK's specialist aviation regulator. Its activities include: making sure that the aviation industry meets the highest technical and operational safety standards; preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money because of tour operator insolvency; planning and regulating all UK airspace; and regulating airports, air traffic services and airlines and providing advice on aviation policy from an economic standpoint.