• This plan is primarily aimed at making aviation work better, both now and in the future.

    To do this, we require the resources in place to deliver our programmes and to meet the evolving expectations that our stakeholders place on us as a sector regulator.

    Like those that we regulate, we must constantly evolve in the face of the external environment and the changing focus of our work. Here we set out the main strategies for internal change and the outcomes that we want to achieve over the next five years. 

  • Our reputation as a world-class aviation regulator has been made by our people and the future will be no different.

    People are central to what we do. What we do is designed to benefit our stakeholders by making aviation better and we need the right people to deliver this purpose.

    To deliver this Strategic Plan, we require colleagues who know what they need to do and are equipped with the right skills and attitudes.

    We will not always have these skills in-house and we will seek to recruit from outside where necessary to secure those skills and create new perspectives. We will continue to be an organisation that invests in our colleagues. This means through recruitment, training and structured career development opportunities.

    All colleagues are expected to demonstrate our values and behaviours and contribute to the delivery of this plan.

    Change objective Change outcomes
    We are a good employer, our people make a difference

    We fully understand the capability of our people

    We can accurately forecast the people we need

    Our people consider the CAA a good place to work

    Our people are motivated and clear about what they need to do

    Our culture fully supports the delivery of our work

    The management of risk starts with a proper understanding of the issues and what matters. Starting in 2016, we are committing to an annual survey of consumer attitudes so that we are better able to track what consumers and the public want and their level of satisfaction with the sector. This will bring us in line with other regulators.

    Our work to establish performance-based regulation in the areas of safety, security and the enforcement of consumer rights has led us to invest in better information and processes for refining intelligence from the data we gather. Furthermore, the challenge of using information to empower consumers requires us to be better skilled at communicating information and understanding how it is used.

    We recognise that there is further potential in joining up these different strands of information to provide a more comprehensive view. We are committed to strengthening our capability in these areas further: through steps to facilitate joint-working in these areas and investment in skills, processes and information technology. We will also take steps to improve our decision-making, by building on the progress already made to move from reliance on single expert decision-making to collective judgement based on a rich portfolio of data.

    Change objective Change outcomes
    We are professional and creative with our information

    We achieve consistently high levels of data quality.

    We have easy access to the data we require

    Our skills and tools support the effective collection, analysis and communication of information

    Our processes help us to get value from data

    Everything we do must be paid for, and we are acutely conscious of the financial burden we place on others.

    As a public corporation set up by Parliament, we derive the majority of our funding from those we regulate, from our commercial contractual activities with other parties and from Government paying for activities we undertake on its behalf.

    We strive to minimise this burden where possible and we have a good story to tell in this regard; the CAA's operating budget has reduced in real terms by 35% from 2005 to 2015. Looking ahead over the first few years of this plan, we intend to keep the overall level of fees and charges flat in real terms, except on areas of increased activity such as the airspace change process and designing the economic regulation regime for any new runway capacity.

    Nevertheless, we are seeing some real pressure on the structure of these charges. Our funding model has remained fundamentally unchanged for more than 30 years. As the risks to consumers, the public and indeed the regulated companies themselves become more international, we recognise that our funding model may have to change in the future to reflect this different reality.

    Change objective Change outcomes
    We are careful in raising and spending our stakeholders' money

    Our funding model is fair, transparent and sustainable and effectively supports the achievement of our outcomes

    We provide good value for money

    So much of aviation is international and many of the outcomes that we have targeted are dependent on us working effectively with our partners overseas.

    We plan to improve the way that we deliver our international work and partner with others through the creation of a new International Directorate. The Directorate will seamlessly bring together our commercial consultancy arm, CAA International (CAAi), with our key international regulatory policy teams in order that we are better placed to enhance worldwide aviation standards, doing our bit to improve aviation overseas.

    Much of the work we do to protect UK stakeholders overseas is done on a commercial basis through CAAi and we plan to continue to support this part of the business in order to drive benefits consistent with this plan. Over the last five years, we have used the profits from our commercial activities to subsidise our fees and charges. We are committed to the gradual phasing out of this cross-subsidy over the coming years so that any profit can be retained by our commercial arm for reinvestment, buffering risk and making targeted interventions aimed at benefiting the UK consumer flying overseas. This change is consistent with the general principles that regulation should be cost-reflective and that commercial risk from operations should not be carried by our regulatory charge-payers.

    Change objective Change outcomes
    We are relevant and have a positive impact beyond the UK

    We are effective in influencing international rule-making and safety strategies

    We are effective in working with our international partners on issues of mutual concern

    Our commercial products and services have a significant and beneficial impact for our stakeholders

    Our commercial work does not conflict with our regulatory duties and functions

    Service excellence means being a more responsive, stakeholder-focused organisation; it is a priority area for this plan and for all our people.

    Part of this means ensuring that we are efficient to transact and engage with. We have already taken some large steps in this direction, with the growth of the Shared Service Centre which has streamlined repeat services such as pilot licensing, leading to shorter and more consistent turnround times and higher satisfaction rates, all with lower processing time and cost. We are committed to further expansion of these services, as well as to the merger of our competition, economic regulation and consumer protection teams to deliver efficiencies in overheads. Allied to this, we will also make it easier for stakeholders to access information and services online and give us direct feedback on how we can improve our services. We will be prepared to take difficult decisions where they are justified, even where they are unpopular.

    We will continue to invest in modernising our information technology (IT) and processes to deliver service excellence and improve our internal efficiency and effectiveness. There are a number of strands to our IT and process transformation programme including the introduction of proper client relationship management systems, enhancement to our website and improved information management systems.

    We have introduced service excellence as a core competency for our staff, reflecting our desire to ensure that this mindset is applied to all parts of the business, so that everyone inside or outside the organisation can be treated to great service.

    Change objective Change outcomes
    We deliver a great service to all our users

    Our processes are simple and easy to use and queries are rare

    Our stakeholders need to submit their data once only

    Our progress is transparent to users and to us

    Our services and products are easy to engage with

    Our service standards and metrics are clear and drive consistency and improvement

    All parts of our plan require us to communicate effectively with our stakeholders: we are taking steps to do this better.

    Our stakeholders are many and varied and each one requires us to tailor our communications to their needs and expectations. Stakeholders also tell us that they want us to be more accessible and responsive to their needs.

    We recognise that communication through digital platforms is a key part of the solution. We have now launched our new improved website alongside this plan and we are committed to further investment in this and other communication platforms to deliver information in ways that meet stakeholders' expectations. We will ensure they have a greater degree of control in the way information is delivered, and the ability to transact efficiently with the CAA where they choose.

    Change objective Change outcomes
    We communicate and engage effectively with all our stakeholders

    We are clear and consistent in our communications

    We understand our different stakeholders and communicate in ways which suit them

    We use communications creatively as a tool to influence outcomes

    We engage, listen and learn from our stakeholders, consulting them when appropriate

    We are clear about how stakeholders can give us their views, and how we will treat their feedback