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At the end of April, we announced the General Aviation Unit (GAU) and Remotely Piloted Aircraft System Unit (RPAS) teams would be formally integrated into one unit. Sophie O'Sullivan is now the permanent head of this combined unit. Both GA and RPAS are recognised as growth areas for the UK and as such we want to assure both communities that we are committed to continuing our ongoing working relationships with the sectors.

Sophie O'Sullivan, Head of GA & RPAS said “This last quarter has focused on consolidating the teams and understanding our tactical role and strategic goals and how these two need to sit by side. This work is nearing completion and we are looking to focus the rest of 2021 on enacting a number of the projects set out in CAP2146: UK General Aviation opportunities after leaving EASA: Consultation Response Document; our own CAA roadmap of priority projects that we are focused on delivering in collaboration with our stakeholders. “

This direction of travel is discussed in the media interviews undertaken with FLYER Magazine and AOPA Magazine, due out in August.

The second quarter of 2021 has seen a welcome return to the skies for many in line with the government's easing of COVID-19 restrictions. We have continued to work to follow our remit of regulating only when necessary and deliver on our top-level principles for better GA regulation.

Achievements over the past three months include:

  • The publication of proposed changes to a number of chapters of CAP553 (BCAR Section A). The consultation ended on 27 May 2021 and we are now taking a period of time to analyse the submission. Once complete we will invite key stakeholders to discuss the findings and work collaboratively on the final documents.

We have continued to share with the GA Community resources and materials to support the continued return to flying and ensure the UK GA flying community are operating safely. This includes:

Astral Aviation Consulting (AAC), a third-party supplier, was awarded the contract to provide support on GA Safety promotions. Activities over this past quarter include:

  • The launch of a bespoke GA website and social channels including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
  • Collaboration with Mike Ling, Blade Three of the Blades Aerobatic Team on a Loss of Safe Separation webinar and LoSS: What you need to know containing key guidance, statistics and case studies, including the launch of a Spotify channel to support this and future Webinars.
  • The hosting of their first panel event, featuring the Director of the UK Airprox Board, Head of Safety at Brize Norton Flying Club and Ellie Carter, one of the UK's youngest GA pilots.
  • Provision of useful resources on a number of topics including a one-stop shop for Reporting, guidance on Military Flow Arrows and information on Blindspots, in addition to bitesize content on in-flight distractions, MAC, and the Lookout technique.
  • The delivery of a bespoke presentation on LoSS to Europa Flying Club, an international GA organisation of around 400 pilots.