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Civil Aviation Authority

Volume 703: debated on Thursday 17 July 2008

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Transport (Ruth Kelly) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

I am publishing today, and placing in the Libraries of both Houses, Sir Joseph Pilling’s report of his independent strategic review of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the UK’s aviation regulator. I commissioned this review last September, following a recommendation by the Transport Committee of this House.

I am grateful to Sir Joseph for his thoughtful report and his recognition of the important contribution which the CAA makes to aviation in the UK and internationally. He found that the CAA has been and continues to be highly successful, but he concluded that its framework and organisation could be modernised to meet future challenges in the fast-changing aviation sector.

Some of Sir Joseph’s recommendations are for the Government, including some which are relevant to the separate review of airport economic regulation which I announced recently, and to work on improving the passenger experience. I intend to consider these recommendations in detail over the summer and to make a fuller statement in the autumn. Interested parties who wish to comment on the report should write to me by the end of September.

Some of the key recommendations deal with the CAA’s governance and would bring the way that the organisation operates more in line with modern regulatory practice. It would be advantageous to make the governance reforms soon, to help lead the further changes envisaged.

The current chair, Sir Roy McNulty, completes his term next year after a very distinguished period in that office since 2001. My department will shortly start the process of seeking a part-time non-executive chair and then a new chief executive, on the basis envisaged by Sir Joseph Pilling.

I am pleased that the CAA board has welcomed the overall outcome of the review, and has confirmed the CAA’s willingness to work closely with my department in the programme of implementation.

The report is available on the Department for Transport website and printed copies can be obtained from: DfT Publications, Tel: 0870 1226 236, Textphone: 0870 1207 405, Email: