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At a glance

  • Independent review into UK aviation regulatory body reaffirms its status as a “highly effective” industry regulator.
  • Report sets out a series of recommendations to maintain its high level of service.
  • Four themes of accountability, governance, efficiency and efficacy considered as part of a government review of public bodies.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority is world-leading and highly effective as the UK’s independent aviation and aerospace regulator, a Government Review has found. 

The Review found the regulator is fit for purpose and delivers a high quality-service, and also made recommendations for changes which will further improve the work the regulator does and the services it provides.

The findings follow an independent Review by the government, as part of the Cabinet Office Public Bodies Review programme, into the effectiveness and efficiency of the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority welcomes the Review’s recommendations and commits to improving constantly its service, efficiency, governance, and adaptation towards new technologies, whilst at the same time maintaining its relentless focus on safety, security and protecting consumer interests.

The Review supports the conclusions of two other recent major audits of the Civil Aviation Authority by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which also concluded that the UK Civil Aviation Authority is a world-class regulator in aviation safety and in aviation security.

Sir Stephen Hillier, Chair of the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said:

“The Review has been a welcome opportunity to analyse the Civil Aviation Authority’s responsibilities and capabilities. I very much welcome the Review’s confirmation that we are a highly capable and internationally well-regarded aviation safety regulator. 

“The Review has helpfully also identified areas where we can improve.  We welcome those recommendations: we are a learning organisation and always looking continuously to improve. 

“We have already initiated improvements in some of these areas and I am confident that the implementation of all the recommendations will help ensure that we are an ever-more forward-looking, efficient, effective, and well-governed organisation, constantly looking after aviation consumers’ interests and constantly improving the service we provide to our regulated customers.”

Aviation Minister Baroness Vere of Norbiton said:

“The Civil Aviation Authority is an effective and well-respected regulator for the UK aviation industry, balancing the interests of industry and consumers.

“I am pleased that this independent review recognises the Civil Aviation Authority's status as a world leading regulator and it is only right that it strives to be even better, to deliver for all its users in the future”

The government review led by Jeremy Newman also recognised that the UK Civil Aviation Authority responded well to several challenges in recent years, and is well placed to continue to play a leading role in giving assurance about the safety of emerging technologies, including those being developed to address the challenges of sustainability, as well as space flight.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority is committed to delivering on the recommendations, with work already underway on implementing many of the recommendations of the review.

Key recommendations focused on the regulator’s governance, accountability, efficiency, and efficacy.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority has already enacted a plan to achieve a five per cent efficiency over the next three years. This saving will be re-invested in technology to help address some of the findings around the organisation’s efficiency and regulated customer transactions.

The regulator also welcomed the Government’s commitments to strengthening its consumer enforcement powers, bringing it in line with other regulators.

The full report is available on gov.uk.