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UK – EU Transition, and UK Civil Aviation Regulations

To access current UK civil aviation regulations, including AMC and GM, CAA regulatory documents, please use this link to UK Regulation. Please note, if you use information and guidance under the Headings below, the references to EU regulations or EU websites in our guidance will not be an accurate information or description of your obligations under UK law. These pages are undergoing reviews and updates.

Scope of the review

The review will evaluate existing civil guidance on flying displays and special events, and the danger they may pose to the public. To do this the Review will consider the following issues:

  • the competency and experience of pilots flying at air displays;
  • the attitudes of pilots and organisations to safety standards;
  • the skill levels pilots flying at air displays must have to perform different aerobatic manoeuvres;
  • the physiological challenges of, and medical fitness to perform aerobatic, high performance and display flying;
  • the age, condition and performance, as well as the regulatory framework that governs aircraft used at air displays;
  • the range of permitted manoeuvres, in particular for high performance or vintage jet aircraft;
  • the content of the air display; and
  • location and characteristics of the air display venue, including displays not over a recognised aerodrome, coastal locations, and the surrounding area/infrastructure.

Other issues may arise during the course of the review.

The review will also consider what lessons can be learnt from any other air display incidents both in the UK and other countries, as well as how other countries authorise air displays. It will also consider any forthcoming European legislation that may impact on this activity. The Review will consider the CAA’s internal procedures for assessing and approving flying displays and participants, the relationship that the CAA has with display organisers, such as the British Air Display Association (BADA) as well as others present at air shows also responsible for public safety, such as the Health and Safety Executive and emergency services.

Emerging information from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) will be considered promptly by the Review which will identify any further actions that it determines to be immediately necessary to protect the public in relation to air displays.

Independent Challenge Panel

The review will have an Independent Challenge Panel for the Review. The Panel’s Chair is independent of the CAA and the aviation display community but has knowledge of public safety issues. Membership of the Challenge Panel includes a consumer/public representative as well as representatives from the flying display community and the MAA. The CAA will provide support to the Challenge Panel.

The panel’s role is to provide constructive challenge to the thinking of the Review. It will advise on the efficacy and applicability of any recommendations that might result from the review for both the general public and the flying display community, as well as provide guidance on the priority of any recommendations. The Panel will ensure that any proposals meet the overarching objective of the project to ensure that all is being done to ensure public air displays in the UK operate to the very highest levels and safety standards and that air shows remain safe.

The panel is free to comment publicly on the work that has been carried out by the CAA. This may mean communicating with the aviation industry, the media, the CAA and others as appropriate.


The review will engage fully with the air display community, including organisers and pilots, as well, where feasible those who attend or are in the vicinity of air displays.


The review is overseen by a Steering Board, chaired by Mark Swan, Group Director Safety and Airspace Regulation Group.

There is a Project Board, chaired by Tony Rapson, Head of the General Aviation Unit (GAU). The Project Board will guide and direct the project to a successful conclusion in terms of timeliness and meeting objectives. Tony Rapson is responsible for reporting direct to the Steering Board.

The work of the Project Board will be informed by Working Groups. The Project Board, with the agreement of the Steering Group, will decide on the number and make-up of the Working Groups as the review progresses.

The Project Board will:

  • manage the Review’s relationship with stakeholders, including the public, and the broader aviation community;
  • ensure that recommendations are fit for purpose and then, beyond the final report, consider how to ensure they are fully implemented; and
  • ensure that the project has the resources it needs to be successful.

Philip Clarke, Manager, Safety Policy, Intelligence, Strategy and Policy Team (ISP), the Safety and Airspace Regulation Group, is the Review Business Manager.

Dan McCafferty is the Review Project Manager.

Challenge to the CAA’s work will be carried out by an Independent Challenge Panel, as detailed above.

Monthly updates will be provided to the CAA Board and to the Department of Transport (DfT). The European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) will also be kept informed of the progress of the Review as it progresses.

Membership of the governance groups

Steering Board members are:

  • Mark Swan Chair Tony Rapson Chair, Project Board
  • Philip Clarke Review Business Manager
  • David Oastler Consumer Policy Group (CPG) and Review Deputy Business Manager
  • Padhraic Kelleher SARG ISP
  • Mark Shortman GAU and AAIB Advisor
  • Sarah Doherty Deputy Head of CAA Policy Programmes Team (PPT)
  • Cdre Paul Chivers MAA
  • Dan McCafferty Project Manager

Others colleagues, for example, from the CAA’s Legal Team and Communications Team, may be co-opted onto the Steering Board at the request of the Steering Board Chair as the Review dictates.

The Steering Board will be quorate with four members attending, including the Chair or his nominated deputy, and at least one non-SARG member.

Project Board members are:

  • Tony Rapson Chair, Project Board (with Padhraic Kelleher as deputy)
  • Philip Clarke Review Business Manager
  • David Oastler CPG and Review Deputy Business Manager
  • Mark Shortman GAU and AAIB Advisor
  • John Romain Aircraft Restoration Co.
  • Ed Bellamy GAU
  • Dom Marino PPT
  • Stuart Mitchell CAA Medical Department
  • Matthew Bennett CAA Legal Team
  • Sqn Ldr Rich Thornton MAA
  • Mike Alcock DfT
  • Dan McCafferty Project Manager

Chairs of Working Groups as required

Others colleagues, for example, from the CAA’s Communications Team, may be co-opted onto the Project Board at the request of the Project Board Chair as the Review dictates.

The Project Board will be quorate with five members attending, including the Chair or his nominated deputy, and at least one non-SARG member.

Independent Challenge Panel members are:

  • Geoffrey Podger CB Chair
  • John Turner BADA
  • Keith Richards Chair, CAA Consumer Panel
  • AVM Gary Waterfall CBE MAA and Ministry of Defence
  • Barbara Cooper Kent County Council

The Independent Challenge Panel Secretary will be appointed in due course.

As required at the Independent Challenge Panel

  • Philip Clarke Review Business Manager
  • David Oastler CPG and Review Deputy Business Manager
  • Dan McCafferty Project Manager

Working Groups

The Working Groups, in line with but not limited to the tasks set out in the scope of the review, will be asked to go back to first principles and:

  • Assess the adequacy of the current provisions to aircraft in scope of the review;
  • Assess the adequacy of current provisions to pilots in scope of the review;
  • Assess the safety objective of each provision;
  • Assess the impact location may have on an air display
  • Assess whether this safety objective remains sufficient in the light of the Shoreham and other disasters;
  • Assess whether there is additional evidence to amend the provision;
  • Make recommendations to the Project Board for changing current provisions, with an indication of the likely impact, both on public safety and the aviation community.

Meeting frequency

The Steering Board will meet monthly throughout the life of the Review, and the Project Board will be updated weekly and meet as necessary for the same period. Frequency of meetings after publication of the final report will be assessed at the time.

The Independent Challenge Panel will meet three or four times during the course of the Review. It will meet on its own to form its own views on the interim and final reports, and then with the Chairs of the Steering and Project Boards to challenge the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the CAA. The Chair of the Independent Challenge Panel may ask or be invited to address the CAA Board.


The Review will be fully resourced by the CAA except where people resources are provided by the MAA and DfT. Reasonable travel costs of non-CAA staff will be covered by the CAA. The CAA will cover the cost of Independent Challenge Panel.


The Review will produce an interim report by the end of October and its final report early in the New Year.

Civil Aviation Authority
9 September 2015

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