The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) provides safety assurance to the public in accordance with its statutory duties. The CAA also follows the principles of better regulation which means that our interventions should be proportionate and targeted to achieve the desired safety benefit without imposing undue burdens on stakeholders.
This GA policy framework is designed for use by the CAA General Aviation Unit (GAU) to ensure that we are able to continue to fulfil our statutory duties as we deregulate, delegate and introduce proportionate regulation as we promised in our response to the Government’s red tape challenge as set out in>CAP1188: Let There be Flight: Regulating General Aviation (published in 2014).
A series of questions have been developed to ensure that we minimise the risks to those we are required to protect; that our regulation is consistent; and that we do not gold-plating European regulations. We are focused primarily on protecting third parties from risks associated with GA activities, whilst enabling GA participants to manage their own risks.
This policy framework was first proposed and consulted on in CAP1188: Let There be Flight, and then published later in 2014. In 2019, we reviewed this and enacted some minor amendments to reflect current regulations and subsequently published further guidance material.
After working through and answering these questions, using the best available evidence to justify your responses, you should be able determine whether your preferred approach will deliver a more proportionate approach for the UK’s GA sector while protecting third parties. Your detailed response will be retained centrally by the GA Unit.
Safeguarding the core of regulation
1.1 Would the proposal/change to existing regulation affect the Rules of the Air?
- If yes, consult with Airspace, Air Traffic Management and Aerodromes department within the CAA to identify cost-efficient, targeted and proportionate options to guard against increased third-party risk before proceeding to 1.2.
- If no, continue directly to 1.2.
1.2 Would the proposal/change to existing regulation affect pilot medical requirements?
- If yes, consult in the first instance with the the GAU Pilot Training, Licensing and Policy team to identify cost-efficient, targeted and proportionate options to guard against increased third-party risk prior to proceeding to 1.3.
- If no, continue directly to 1.3.
1.3 Would the proposal/change to existing regulation affect licensing or training standards?
- If yes, consult in the first instance with the GAU Pilot Training, Licensing and Policy team to identify cost-efficient, targeted and proportionate options to guard against increased third-party risk prior to proceeding to 1.4.
- If no, continue directly to 1.4.
1.4 Would the proposal/change to existing regulation affect airspace policy?
- If yes, consult with Airspace, Air Traffic Management and Aerodromes department within the CAA to identify cost-efficient, targeted and proportionate options to guard against increased third-party risk prior to proceeding to 2.1.
- If no, continue directly to 2.1.
2.1 Would the proposal/change to existing regulation involve an incremental increase in the level of risk to third parties on the ground?
2.2 Would the proposal/change to existing regulation involve an incremental increase in the level of risk to Commercial Air Transport (CAT) airspace users?
2.3 Would the proposal/change to existing regulation involve an incremental increase in the level of risk to other non-CAT airspace users?
If you answered yes to any of questions 2.1, 2.2, or 2.3, you must assess the level of the risks to these classes of third parties by using the following steps:
- Conduct a risk assessment using the tables listed in Appendix A and Appendix B of this policy framework for both before and after the proposal/change is implemented. Determine the level of risk to each separate class of third party (both likelihood and impact), taking geography and population density into account whilst making your calculations.
- List the evidence relied upon in reaching the conclusions regarding risk. Also list any evidence you discounted.
- Arrive at a risk score using the standard CAA Likelihood/Impact table in Appendix B. Assess the risk and recommend a level of regulatory oversight appropriate to this score.
- Demonstrate using evidence that the above option will be effective and less burdensome than existing regulation.
- If as a result of the proposal/change, the before/after assessment using the table in Appendix B indicates an increase in safety risk, determine whether mitigations and safeguards need to be strengthened, or whether the proposal/change is appropriate at all.
- After completing these steps, proceed to 3.1.
If you answered no to 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3, continue directly to 3.2.
3.1 Does a Qualified Entity (QE) exist which demonstrates through capacity and capability that they are able to perform the option developed in section 2 above?
- Which understands and can manage the responsibility?
- Which has adequate cash flow?
- Which has the right leadership and governance structures in place?
- Which has well-developed mid-term and long-term strategies?
- Which has proper finance procedures in place?
- Which is able to identify and manage the risks associated with being given delegated powers and is willing to accept those risks?
- Which can deal with the volume of business that they and we expect them to manage?
- If you answered yes to the majority of these questions, then the preferred option is likely to be delegation and you should explore this option in more detail.
- If no, then the option is proportionate regulation administered by the CAA.
Continue now to 3.3.
3.2 Deregulation is appropriate if you answered no to 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3.
Continue now to 3.3.
3.3 Consultation with industry is appropriate at this stage to discuss the risk assessments conducted, the Better Regulation option proposed, and the impact of such option on industry.
Continue now to 4.1.
4.1 Is the non-pilot participant receiving remunerated flight training or is on board as a result of a cost-sharing, charity flight or introductory flight arrangement? Refer to the CAA website for relevant regulations and guidance covering these areas.
- If yes, then consult relevant colleagues in the General Aviation Unit including the Pilot Training, Licensing and Policy team and the GA Operations team to apply this regulation and guidance accordingly
- If no, then proceed to 4.2.
4.2 Is the activity undertaken under the Safety Standards Acknowledgment and Consent (SSAC) framework? Refer to CAA CAP1395 Safety Standards Acknowledgment and Consents, CAP1396 Framework for Evaluation of Aviation Activities for Payment Based on Safety Standards Acknowledgment and Consent and other materials regarding SSAC to determine whether the SSAC framework process is appropriate for this situation, taking into account the ability of the third party to participate in the activity itself.
- If yes, then consult with the GA Operations team to apply the SSAC framework.
- If no, then third parties are not permitted to participate in the activity for profit.
Proceed to 5.1
5.1 Is this an area where EASA regulates and the proposal/change to existing regulation would impose a higher standard than EASA?
- If yes, then proceed to 5.2.
- If no, then proceed to 6.1.
5.2 Does the proposal/change to existing regulation qualify for an exemption pursuant to the flexibility provisions under EASA Basic Regulation Article 71?
- If yes, then proceed in accordance with the requirements listed in Article 71 of the EASA Basic Regulation and proceed directly to 7.1.
- If no, then STOP. The EASA standard is to apply.
6.1 Does the standard being applied to this activity vary from the standards used or proposed by either EASA or the CAA for activities involving similar risk?
- If yes, then proceed to 6.2.
- If no, then proceed directly to 7.1.
6.2 Have you engaged with EASA/developed proposals as appropriate to further consistency among activities involving similar risk?
- If yes, then proceed to 7.1.
- If no, then implement plan for engagement with EASA/development of proposals for similar activities and proceed to 7.1.