The overall management of the State Safety Programme (SSP) and the delivery of the UK aviation safety strategy is through the State Safety Board (SSB). This is made up of senior representatives from the key aviation safety agencies. They are responsible for monitoring the safety performance of the UK aviation system and ensuring the state safety programme remains effective.
The terms of reference for the SSB are shown below:
To oversee UK Aviation Safety Strategy and Policy and provide governance for the UK State Safety programme.
The Board acts as a forum for senior officials from the key aviation safety agencies to discuss the development and delivery of Aviation Safety Strategy.
The Board is proactively looking at UK aviation safety risks and its work will be guided by the following principles:
- The Board will make decisions based on analysed safety data and information that will be presented as a dashboard based on the state safety objectives.
- It will consider how wider Government policy is to be delivered.
- It will consider future developments and emerging risks likely to affect the aviation industry and the delivery of effective safety management.
- It will discuss and co-ordinate international engagement with the objective of influencing Europe (Cion, EASA, ECAC) and rest of the world with a view to delivery of rules/SARPS that meet our strategy and wider policy objectives.
- It will consider aviation safety risks to the UK citizen that goes beyond where the UK has regulatory oversight responsibility.
The Board is responsible for:
- Implementation and management of an effective State Safety Programme.
- Establishment of the State Safety policy and its promotion.
- Co-ordination of the activities and responsibilities of the aviation safety agencies involved in the UK SSP.
- Ensuring that the UK aviation safety agencies fulfil their individual SSP responsibilities
- Monitoring of the overall safety performance of the UK.
- Monitoring and achievement of the Acceptable Level of Safety Performance and State Safety Objectives.
- Ensuring acceptable levels of safety are being met by the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies.
The Board will consider the over-arching question of how Government and the aviation safety agencies should best engage with industry on aviation safety.
The Board will consider safety issues and topics prioritised by the Board Secretariat or proposed by any of the aviation safety agencies. The focus should be on high level strategic issues and core principles.
More detailed process focused discussions - such as projects and resource discussions should be agreed at working level before and presented to the Board briefly for decision only.
The board will meet quarterly, and the agenda will be agreed in advance. DfT Aviation Strategy and Consumer Division will provide the Board's Secretariat. Meeting minutes will be recorded and distributed to the SSB participants and to all the Aviation Safety Agencies. A copy of the meeting minutes will be stored by the DfT.
Board Membership consists of:
Department for Transport
- Director General of Civil Aviation
Civil Aviation Authority
- Group Director Safety and Airspace Regulation Group (SARG)
- Head of Future Safety (SARG)
- Head of International Group
Air Safety Support International
- Chief Executive Officer
Air Accidents Investigation Branch
- Chief Inspector of Air Accidents
Military Aviation Authority
- Head of Regulation and Certification
Department for Transport
- DfT Aviation Strategy and Consumer Division (secretariat)
Civil Aviation Authority
- Head of Safety Strategy Team (SARG)
- SSP Coordinator (SARG)
- Representative from the State Safety Partnership team (International Group)
The Department for Transport (DfT) has overall responsibility for the coordination of ICAO related matters on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport, setting national aviation policy and working with the CAA and the UK aviation industry to maintain high standards of safety and security in UK aviation.
The CAA’s safety role is to ensure that the aviation industry meets the highest safety standards and is managing its safety risks effectively. This is achieved through licensing of organisations and personnel and the certification of aircraft and approval and oversight of organisations. Additionally, the CAA seeks to proactively identify and analyse risk through a performance based regulatory approach. This includes safety data gathering and analysis to identify emerging risks at the earliest opportunity. These identified risks are ultimately controlled by our industry therefore they play an important role in our SSP. Please see Expectations of the UK aviation industry.
The CAA International Group’s purpose is to improve aviation standards sustainably across the globe, connecting states with expertise from the CAA and developing our partners to help them lead the aviation world of tomorrow. This is split into three functions:
- The International Strategy and Engagement team works with global and regional organisations as well as aviation agencies on international policy issues.
- The State Safety Partnerships programme engages with individual States, their industry and UK industry on matters arising from the operational safety performance of non-UK operators in UK airspace, and that experienced by UK operators when overseas
- CAA International (CAAi) is the commercial advisory arm that provides capacity building, technical consultancy, training, examination and licensing services internationally. CAAi is a social enterprise which reinvests a sustainable proportion of its profit to extend the work’s reach and fulfil its purpose.
Air Safety Support International (ASSI) is responsible, where appropriate, for providing assistance, training and advice to the Overseas Territories’ aviation authorities. It fulfils a role of being the policy maker and advisor for the Overseas Territories and in some cases, acts as the regulator where the Overseas Territory does not have a regulatory body or appropriate resources.
The following OTs have their own State Safety Programmes:
- Cayman Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Gibraltar (Not under ASSI’s responsibilities)
- Turks & Caicos Islands
Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Montserrat and St Helena share an integrated SSP managed by ASSI.
The two Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey (including Alderney and Sark) – collectively known as the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man, are Crown Dependencies (CDs). Each has its own SSP.
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch investigates civil aircraft accidents and serious incidents within UK ‘Main’, the Overseas Territories and the Crown Dependencies. It is established within the DfT, but is functionally separate from the Aviation Directorate and fully separate from the CAA and other regulatory authorities to ensure independence.
The Military Aviation Authority (MAA) is the single regulatory authority responsible for regulating all aspects of air safety across all defence activities. It has full oversight of all defence aviation activity through independent audit and continuous surveillance of military aviation. The MAA aims to provide the Secretary of State for Defence, through the Director General Defence Safety Authority, the necessary assurance that appropriate standards of air safety are maintained. The accountabilities and responsibilities of the MAA are defined in MAA01 - Military Aviation Authority Regulatory Policy.
As a signatory to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Chicago Convention, the UK is required to comply with the convention. This requires the UK to follow the annexes or to file differences where there is a deviation. As a result, the UK is also subject to ICAO oversight. The UK SSP also considers the Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP) and Regional Aviation Safety Plan (RASP) and engages in the activities that support ongoing development of the annexes.
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