About the CAA

The responsibilities of the Civil Aviation Authority

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which is a public corporation, was established by Parliament in 1972 as an independent specialist aviation regulator and provider of air traffic services.

The UK Government requires that the CAA’s costs are met entirely from its charges on those whom it regulates. Unlike many other countries, there is no direct Government funding of the CAA’s work.

What we do:


The CAA regulates (approximately):

  • Active professional and private pilots (50,000)
  • Licensed aircraft engineers (12,400)
  • Air traffic controllers (2,350)
  • Airlines (206)
  • Licensed aerodromes (141)
  • Organisations involved in the design, production and maintenance of aircraft (950)
  • ATOL holders (2,400)
  • Aircraft registered in the UK (19,000)

We have two main offices, in London on the Kingsway and close to Gatwick Airport. Our airspace, consumer policy and ATOL teams are all based in London, with colleagues regulating safety mostly based in Gatwick and a series of smaller regional offices.

Our Strategic Objectives:


The CAA's work is focussed on:

  • Enhancing aviation safety performance by pursuing targeted and continuous improvements in systems, culture, processes and capability.
  • Improving choice and value for aviation consumers now and in the future by promoting competitive markets, contributing to consumers' ability to make informed decisions and protecting them where appropriate.
  • Improving environmental performance through more efficient use of airspace and make an efficient contribution to reducing the aviation industry's environmental impacts.
  • Ensuring that the CAA is an efficient and effective organisation which meets Better Regulation principles

Our Role

Corporate Information