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Rationale

Air displays are the second largest outdoor public event attraction and are enjoyed by thousands of people each year. Following the Shoreham air show accident in 2015 which resulted in the death of eleven members of the public, CAA conducted a review of UK civil air display regulation. The review identified a number of areas where enhancements could be made and recommended a number of changes. These included the display application processes, the system of authorising display pilots, and changes to display planning rules. Additionally, the review recommended the introduction of some new processes and further work to examine the maintenance of air display aircraft and the impact of human factors on display safety.

The regulatory changes recommended by the review were implemented over the course of the 2016 season and refined for 2017 on the basis of a review of their effectiveness conducted by an external consultancy.

Work on mitigating the human factor influences on flying displays and the airworthiness of aircraft commonly appearing at displays continues. The AAIB recommendations subsequent to their investigation into the tragic accident at Shoreham in 2015 in line with our FACTOR commitments have now been fully implemented and the DfT also agreed with the CAA governance model for this sector via a review of air display governance in late 2018.

The necessary inquiries into the Shoreham accident are ongoing and have the potential to create further need for change.

Outcomes

  • Enhanced public safety at and around civil air displays
  • A sustainable air display industry

Actions

  • Continually Improve the Air Display sector through engagement with the regulated community
  • Respond as required to new developments arising from the on-going inquiries relating to the Shoreham accident

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