An independent review of the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) sets out how the "highly effective regulator" can continue to improve.
The review – part of a government-wide review into public bodies – concluded that the UK’s aviation regulator is still held in the highest regard but needs to improve communication on decision-making process and foster tighter working relationships within the sector.
Led by Jeremy Newman, chair of the Workforce Development Trust, the review examined how the CAA operates across four key areas. As part of its findings, it noted an overwhelming response across the sector that the regulator’s impact was positively highlighted, both in the UK and internationally, as it continued to be held in the highest regard by its international contemporaries.
I am pleased that this independent review recognises the CAA’s status as a world-leading regulator
The review considered how accountable the CAA is to the industry it regulates, its governance and relationship with the Department for Transport (DfT), the efficiency of its services and how effective it is in regulating airlines and airports.
Aviation Minister Baroness Vere of Norbiton said: “The CAA 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 CAA’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 review proposes greater clarity to the CAA’s roles, responsibilities, strategic priorities and relationship with DfT. These changes will enable the organisation to better meet the challenges of the future, including helping the aviation and aerospace sector to introduce new technology safely and quickly.
I am confident that the implementation of the recommendations will help ensure that we are an ever-more forward-looking organisation
It also highlighted a renewed need for the CAA to communicate its decision-making process and foster a tighter working relationship with industry partners and the general aviation community.
Sir Stephen Hillier, chair of the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: “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.”
Hillier added: “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.”
The review also set out proposals for the CAA to find savings that can be reinvested into core services delivering the best possible value for money and services for those organisations that it regulates.
Finally, the review recognised the CAA’s important role in protecting the rights of the consumer and critical work as an industry regulator.
Image: London Heathrow Airport