Department for Transport
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Government launches review of Civil Aviation Authority to strengthen regulator for the future

An independent review of the CAA will ensure the provision of world-leading civil aviation regulation and public services for decades to come.

  • UK aviation regulator to be reviewed as part of wider government programme looking into effectiveness and efficiency of public bodies
  • led by an independent lead reviewer, the review will ensure the ongoing provision of a world-class service to the public and aviation industry
  • areas of focus will be the organisation’s effectiveness, efficiency, accountability and governance

The government has today (30 August 2022) launched an independent review of the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to ensure the provision of world-leading regulation and public services for decades to come.

With a remit that includes everything from ensuring the highest standards of aviation safety and security, to the efficient use of airspace, space operations and protecting consumer rights, the Civil Aviation Authority is vital to the UK’s position as a world leader in aviation and aerospace.

Building on the organisation’s success in tackling the unprecedented challenges of recent years, the review will focus on:

  • its efficiency and effectiveness in delivering its services currently, and for the future
  • its role, form, function and delivery model
  • the corporate governance and assurance mechanisms underpinning the organisation
  • the CAA’s relationship with the Department for Transport and how the 2 organisations work together to deliver a quality service for the UK
  • how its priorities match up to the government’s wider objectives, taking into consideration its role as an independent regulator

This year the regulator celebrated its 50th birthday and has played a key role in the aviation sector’s recovery, as set out in our 22-point action plan to help minimise disruption in the sector and protect passengers.

For years to come the regulator will also be crucial in ensuring the sector can modernise and innovate to meet the challenges of the future, while protecting consumer rights  – as set out in our 10-year strategy Flightpath to the future.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

Civil aviation regulation is the lynchpin of an industry which pre-pandemic carried millions of passengers every year, contributed £22 billion to our economy and supported nearly one million jobs.

This review will ensure UK civil aviation regulation continues to be world-leading on safety, security, environmental considerations, economic regulation and consumer protection – which often supports other countries in driving up global standards.

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

At the Civil Aviation Authority, we work tirelessly on our mission to achieve improvements in aviation and aerospace for consumers and the public.

We welcome the opportunity this review presents to highlight the dedication, skill and continuous learning culture of our organisation, whilst identifying any areas for improvement.

It will help ensure that we continue to be a diverse, innovative and future-focused regulator, dedicated to improving aviation safety, security and consumer interests and enabling a thriving aerospace sector.

We look forward to working in an open, transparent and collaborative way with government to support this review.

The review forms part of a wider programme looking at public bodies across government, announced in April this year.

It comes at a crucial time for the aviation industry as it continues its strong recovery from the pandemic and will also run in parallel, but entirely separate to, the International Civil Aviation Organisation safety audit due to take place.

Jeremy Newman, an independent panel member at the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, will lead the review, which will run until spring 2023.

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