Aviation Policy: Contributing to a Sustainable Aviation Framework for the UK

In addition to its statutory regulatory functions, the CAA provides independent advice to Government on a number of aspects of aviation policy on the basis of its status as the UK’s specialist regulator.

Role of the CAA

The Government is currently undertaking a thorough review of aviation policy for the UK.

In his February 2011 letter to the CAA Chair setting out his priorities for the CAA, the then Secretary of State requested that the CAA contributes to the Government’s aim to promote sustainable aviation by providing advice to inform the development of a sustainable aviation policy framework for the UK. A copy of his letter is here.

The Economic Policy and International Aviation (EPIA) team within the CAA leads on advising on the Government's aviation policy development and is responsible for taking forward a programme of work to ensure we contribute effectively to the Government's work in developing a sustainable aviation framework and help to forge a consensus on the issues raised.

The CAA recognises that there is a pressing need for a robust and sustainable policy framework in order that the aviation industry delivers the choice and value that UK aviation consumers demand whilst ensuring that local and global environmental challenges are met.

Contributions to the development of the Government's Sustainable Aviation Framework

In the CAA's response to the Government's 2011 scoping consultation we set out how clarity and durability can be achieved by formulating the policy framework at two distinct levels:

The strategic level: the Government needs to set broad objectives and the outcomes it is seeking to achieve which will deliver those objectives.

The implementation level: the Government then needs to set out steps that it intends to take to bring about the outcomes; ensuring that Government only intervenes where it has the ability to drive forward strategy.

In October 2012  the CAA submitted its response to the Government’s consultation on the draft Aviation Policy Framework

Davies Commission on Airport Capacity

The CAA has welcomed the Government's announcemnet of an Independent Commission on Airport Capacity chaired by Sir Howard Davies and plans to provide expert input to the work of this Commission to help support its work.

Informing the wider debate

The CAA seeks to inform the development of aviation policy through the provision of objective and expert analysis. The following section details some of this additional work:

Input to the Parliamentary Transport Select Committee enquiry on airport capacity expansion

The CAA submitted its response to the Parliamentary Transport Select Committee enquiry in October 2012.

Independent Transport Commission

Evidence was submitted to the Independent Transport Commission (ITC) in October 2012 as part of their call for evidence on “Aviation Futures: What are the strategic choices for aviation capacity in the UK?”

Insight Notes

The CAA published a series of three Insight Notes to build on this initial contribution:

Aviation Policy for Consumers

is the first document in the series. It considers the issue of connectivity from the perspective of current and future consumers. In particular, it addresses the implications of forecast demand growth for the choice and value offered to UK consumers.  


Aviation Policy for the Environment

considers how UK aviation can grow without unacceptable environmental consequences in terms of climate change, noise and local air quality.


Aviation Policy for the Future

considers a number of the challenges that will need to be addressed to ensure that the framework provides both a robust strategic platform for the successful delivery of investment, and the improvements to the UK aviation system required to meet the needs of aviation consumers and the UK economy.