• The roles we play are numerous and established by Parliament. It is our job to act within these laws in a way which is relevant to both today’s stakeholders and those of the future.

    Those groups delivering aviation services are generally incentivised to deliver our stakeholders’ reasonable expectations. So why do we need to exist?

    We exist for a number of reasons but, in general, we step in where the sector is unable to deliver what stakeholders reasonably expect without regulatory intervention.

    Potential shortfalls against expectations are varied but can affect different stakeholders in a number of ways. For example:

    • For consumers and the public, the level of safety or security performance that they expect may be compromised by the absence of proper coordination between different parts of the sector, an inadequate understanding of risk arising from inadequate information or training, or the absence of clear rules or accountability.
    • For the public, the aviation sector may not take adequate account of the impact of noise on affected communities, requiring regulators to step in to balance the interests of those who fly and those on the ground in a fair and evidence-based way.
    • For consumers, the expectation that they can access a choice of good-value services and receive fair treatment where promises fail to be met may be compromised by a number of factors. The structure of the market, for example, may mean that competition is not sufficient to deliver those services and information may not be delivered by the market in a way which allows consumers to make good choices. Individual consumers may feel they can only access their rights after expensive and time-consuming recourse to the courts.

    There is also an expectation that the aviation sector is equipped to service the needs of future and current generations. We do this by facilitating necessary investment for future generations by helping to deliver airspace and airport capacity where there is a clear and compelling case, or adapting our regulatory style so it can facilitate the take-up of beneficial technologies.

    It is to address these instances and others that Parliament has given us a number of duties and powers targeted at making the sector work better for all.