CAA launches consultation on future GA policy

Date: 30 May 2014

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today launched a consultation on its future policy for General Aviation (GA) regulation. It builds on the recent GA Red Tape Challenge and the formation of the CAA's first dedicated GA unit and will define how the CAA regulates GA on a day-to-day basis.

The proposed policy seeks to put in place a new way to regulate GA that both recognises the need to protect third parties, such as the general public, but also makes requirements more proportionate and assists in the Government's aims of making the UK GA sector innovative and vibrant.

Once in place the policy will provide a set of clearly defined and transparent guidance as to how the CAA would make decisions on GA regulation. At its heart is the desire to support the new top level principles for GA regulation:

• Only regulate directly when necessary and do so proportionately;
• Deregulate where we can;
• Delegate where appropriate;
• Do not gold-plate, and quickly and efficiently remove gold-plating that already exists;
• Help create a vibrant and dynamic GA sector in the UK.

As well as the overall regulation of GA the consultation also seeks views on how members of the public might be more easily able to take part in GA activities (such as flying in historic aircraft) while allowing the operator of the aircraft to make a profit. This is currently possible but requires the operator to obtain and maintain a full commercial Air Operators Certificate approval from the CAA. The new policy sets out a much easier route by ensuring passengers are aware of the level of regulation and risk before deciding to fly.

The CAA has statutory duties to ensure the safety of those who are not directly involved with GA activities, for example third parties on the ground and commercial airline passengers. In developing the policy framework we have therefore sought to protect these third parties while enabling us to deliver the commitments we made in our response to the GA Red Tape Challenge.

Andrew Haines Chief Executive of the CAA said: "We know that our regulation of GA in the past has sometimes been disproportionate. We have fully engaged with the Red Tape Challenge and are working hard to change the way we deal with the GA community.

"To enable colleagues in the CAA and the GA community to consistently deliver appropriate regulations and decisions that ensure third parties and non-GA participants are protected in line with the CAA’s statutory duties, are based on evidence and deliver our new vision for GA we are putting in place a simple and transparent policy process and that’s what today's consultation is about."

The consultation explains how decisions would be made based on evidence and risk, includes an outline of the policy process and an example of how it would be applied.

The CAA is keen to hear the views of anyone involved in or affected by GA.

The consultation can be viewed at www.caa.co.uk/consultations where details of how to respond are also provided. The closing date for responses is 31 July 2014.

More detail on the CAA’s GA activities and the work of the GA Unit are available at www.caa.co.uk/ga.

For further press information, contact the CAA Press Office on: 0207 453 6030 press.office@caa.co.uk.

Follow the CAA on Twitter @UK_CAA

Notes to Editors

The creation of a dedicated GA Unit within the CAA emerged from the Government’s Red Tape Challenge in 2013, which explored ways to reduce the regulatory burden on the general aviation sector. The 25-strong Unit has been assembled from airworthiness, flight operations and licensing specialists from across the CAA. All have significant knowledge and experience of general aviation, with most being active private pilots. The Unit is based in the CAA’s Aviation House facility in Gatwick.

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.