• The interests of the public and consumers are at the heart of all that we do. We drive to be a transparent, fair and effective regulator, which is reflected in our recent work to streamline our processes, identify and remove regulatory burdens and become more risk-focussed. We are keen to ensure that our policy proposals are prepared to take account of the value, costs and benefits of alternative options for all stakeholders.

    While keeping the public and consumers at the forefront of our work, we must also balance these interests with creating a regulatory environment which supports growth in the aviation sector and avoids imposing unnecessary burdens on the industry.

    Our principles are reinforced by the government's Better Regulation framework and its Regulators' Code, to which all UK regulators must comply. The Code's core principles are:

    • Proportionality - Regulators should intervene only when necessary; remedies should be appropriate to the risk posed, and costs identified and minimised.
    • Accountability - Regulators should be able to justify decisions and be subject to public scrutiny
    • Consistency - Government rules and standards must be joined up and implemented fairly
    • Transparency - Regulators should be open and keep regulations simple and user-friendly
    • Targeting - Regulation should be focussed on the problem and minimise side effects
  • "The Growth Duty" requires regulators to consider the economic consequences of their actions; be proportionate in their decision making; and to keep regulatory burdens to a minimum. The Duty will apply to the CAA and is expected to come into effect in Autumn 2016. We will be required to report on our compliance with the Duty annually.

    The Business Impact Target (BIT) provides an incentive across Government to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens on business and applies to all CAA measures that regulate the activities of business. Relevant regulatory activities that we have carried out from June 2017 need to be reported on, whether they count towards the target (Qualifying Regulatory Provisions (QRPs)) or not (Non Qualifying Regulatory Provisions (NPQRs)).

    Under section 24A of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act, we are required to publish, for each reporting period, a list of QRPs and a summary of NQRPs.


  • Our recent work to improve the regulatory environment in aviation:

    In support of these principles we publish:

    • clear guidance on how to apply for, or renew, Certificates, Licences and Approvals and we define clearly the terms or privileges of Certificates, Licences and Approvals;
    • the charges applicable to the grant and renewal of Certificates, Licences and Approvals;

    Additionally, to assist in clear understanding, we provide written and/or oral advice about any of the foregoing and in respect of our interpretation of requirements.

    Where applicants are unable to meet the Certification, Licensing or Approval requirements, we will explain why this is so and indicate what steps could be taken to comply so that the relevant privileges may be granted or renewed.

    In the event of any formal proposal to refuse or revoke a Certificate, Licence or Approval, we will set out fully and clearly the grounds for taking such action. Before formal enforcement action is taken, we will provide an opportunity to discuss the circumstances of the case and, if possible, resolve points of difference, unless immediate action is required in the interests of safety.

    Where there are rights of appeal against formal action, advice on the appeal mechanism will be clearly set out in writing at the time the action is taken (see also Appeals Against Regulatory Decisions below).

    Your role

    You can help us to provide the best service possible by:

    • being clear exactly what you require of us;
    • providing clear and correct information and documentation, and fees when required;
    • being prepared for scheduled visits by our staff;
    • providing ideas about how we can improve our services;
    • informing us when our services do not meet the standards we have published.

    Appeals against regulatory decisions

    Except in the cases of provisional suspensions or variations pending further enquiry, decisions made at the direction of the Secretary of State, and medical certificates, a decision to revoke, suspend or refuse to grant a certificate, licence etc. can be appealed against to the Members of the CAA (Civil Aviation Regulations 1991 - Regulation 6).

    Full details of the appeals process can be obtained from:

    Secretary and Legal Adviser
    Civil Aviation Authority
    Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4HE

  • COVID-19

    Contacting the CAA

    As we continue to monitor the development of this situation, the number of remote working staff may increase. We would therefore strongly recommend you contact us by email rather than post.

    If your preferred means of contact is by post, please be aware that responses may take considerably longer than during normal conditions.

    Please see our COVID-19 guidance for more information

    • Our staff will be courteous and helpful.
    • Visitors who have a pre-arranged appointment will be seen on time.
    • Telephones will be answered promptly. Your enquiries will be dealt with at that time or under a 'call back' arrangement acceptable to you. The nature of some enquiries may be required to be submitted in writing to us and this will be advised where applicable.
    • Written communications will be replied to within ten working days. Some communications and requests for information require comprehensive responses which might take longer to prepare. In these cases, we will acknowledge your correspondence within ten working days. We will advise when you can expect to receive a comprehensive reply and who may be contacted on the matter.
    • We aim to achieve our specific service standards (see below) on 90% of occasions. This target has been set because our ability to meet these standards is affected by many factors, not least of which is seasonal variation in demand.
    • It should also be noted that we are sometimes not the only organisation involved in a particular process. However, if this is the case we will inform you of the situation.
    • We are working towards further digitisation of our service, including our on-line services.
    • We aim to continuously improve how we provide our services.

    Our service standards, set out below, are based on the assumption that the following necessary inputs have been provided by you, the applicant:

    • a correct and complete application with the relevant and required supporting documents. Incorrect or incomplete applications will result in delays;
    • the application is submitted on behalf of an appropriately approved organisation or suitably authorised individual;
    • the required and requested information in a satisfactory and timely manner;
    • the appropriate fees;
    • timely access to your facilities, personnel or aircraft, as we require;

    Our standards also assume that we are satisfied with the results of any required:

    • examination or competency check
    • inspection, audit, technical assessment or survey
    • flight inspection or flight test whether carried out by us or by an appropriately approved organisation

    For long or complex projects, or where other Aviation Authorities are involved, a progress review process will be established with the applicant, SARG, and the other agencies involved. In such cases, where the following service levels cannot be achieved, individuals/organisations will be contacted with a revised timeframe for completion.

    • Personnel Licences will be assessed within 10 working days. This may take up to 30 working days where a technical assessment is required.
    • The results of Personnel Licence examinations will be notified to the candidates within 10 working days of the examination date.
    • Commercial Pilots Licence and Instrument Rating skill tests will be provided within 10 working days of the applicant's requested date, weather permitting.
    • The results of Initial Class 1 medical examinations will be notified within 10 working days.
    • Completed new aircraft registrations and overseas de-registrations will be produced within 3 working days.
    • Changes of registered ownership and other register amendments will be produced within 7 working days
    • Mortgage entries, discharges and priority notices will be produced within 3 working days
    • Permissions, Exemptions and Variations will be issued within 10 working days.
    • Permission for Commercial Operation will be issued within 28 working days. 
    • Reports on the results of audits and inspections will be provided within 20 working days of the completion of the audit or inspection.
    • Airworthiness Approval Certificates will be issued within 20 working days. **
    • Certificates of Airworthiness will be issued within 15 working days. **
    • Air Operator Certificates will be issued within 20 working days. **
    • Airworthiness Review Certificates will be renewed within 5 working days
    • Permits to Fly will be issued or renewed within 20 working days. **

    ** Following the receipt of a recommendation by the responsible technical authority within the CAA.