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UK-EU Transition

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The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has appointed Sophie O'Sullivan as the interim Head of its General Aviation Unit (GAU) whilst Rachel Gardner-Poole is on secondment at the UK Space Agency.

Sophie is currently the Head of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) department having set up this unit in 2018 and will now run the GAU alongside her current role for the duration of the seven-month secondment period. Sophie's appointment is effective immediately.

Rob Bishton, Group Director of Safety and Airspace at the UK Civil Aviation Authority said: “In light of Rachel Gardner-Poole taking on a secondment with the UK Space Agency, I have asked Sophie O'Sullivan to take over the running of the General Aviation Unit throughout the secondment period. Sophie brings a wealth of experience in unmanned aircraft systems, strategy, risk, better regulation and a previous career in the private sector working in a mix of strategy, change management and consultancy roles.”

Sophie said, “I am really looking forward to working with the dedicated and professional colleagues in the General Aviation Unit. I do believe there will be opportunities to understand how the UAS and GAU communities can work together on some of their common challenges - encouraging safety reporting from our communities, promulgating safety information and electronic conspicuity.”

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