CAA sets out approach to providing better information to passengers and the public

Date: 17 January 2014

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today set out its approach to meeting its new publication duties, following an extensive consultation with stakeholders representing industry, communities and consumers.

The CAA’s policy statement follows a new duty being given to the CAA in the Civil Aviation Act 2012 to ensure that consumers have the information they need to compare air transport services and facilities. The CAA has also been given a further duty to make relevant information available to the public on the environmental effects of civil aviation in the UK, including the measures being taken to mitigate these effects.

The Act requires the CAA to publish a policy statement on how it plans to carry out these information duties and the CAA consulted on its proposed policy statement during summer 2013. Following consideration of stakeholders’ responses, the CAA has today published its policy statement, setting out:
• The CAA’s view that even competitive markets like the UK aviation sector may not always provide the information that consumers and the public demand
• How the CAA will use information to empower consumers to make better decisions and to facilitate a more informed debate about aviation’s environmental effects, potentially reducing the need for more intrusive and burdensome forms of regulation over time
• The CAA’s commitment to acting in a proportionate and accountable manner when making information available, ensuring that it regulates in line with the principles of Better Regulation

Iain Osborne, Director of Regulatory Policy at the CAA, said:
“Reliable, accurate and easily understandable information makes markets work better. It can help build better relationships between businesses and those affected by their actions. However, left to their own devices, aviation markets may not always provide the information that consumers and the public want. Our new information duties bring the CAA into line with many other UK regulators for whom information provision has become an established part of the regulatory toolkit.

“It’s important that we do this work in a proportionate way, where information empowers consumers and the public, and the benefits outweigh the adverse effects. Our policy statement sets out how we will make sure this is the case and ensures stakeholders can hold us to account effectively.”

With the policy statement now published, the CAA is continuing to work with stakeholders on developing a number of proposals to make more information available to consumers and the public.. These proposals cover information about:
• How different airlines perform in terms of delays and cancellations
• Services provided for disabled passengers and passengers with reduced mobility
• Additional fees and charges levied by airlines and airports
• The carbon impact of flying
• The impact of aviation noise

The CAA will continue to engage with stakeholders as it progresses work on making this information available and further details can be found in the summary of stakeholder responses to the CAA’s proposals, which has also been published today.

The full policy statement is available here:

For more information please contact the CAA press office on 020 7453 6030 or press.office@caa.co.uk. Follow the CAA on Twitter @UK_CAA.

Notes to Editors
1. The CAA launched its consultation on its statement of policy on 31 May 2013 and received 38 formal responses. Stakeholders also fed in views at a series of consultation events that took place during 2013.
2. 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.