Government responds to Red Tape Challenge Panel Report

The Government has published its response to the General Aviation Red Tape Challenge Panel’s Final Report, which was released in May.

The GA Red Tape Challenge held in early 2013 received nearly 500 responses three times as many emails as any other theme to date. As part of the Government’s response to this, Ministers established an independent GA Challenge Panel. Its report included 11 recommendations for Government and the CAA to consider further. The government will announce a comprehensive GA strategy by spring 2015.

The Under Secretary of State for Transport, Robert Goodwill, said: “This government has provided the General Aviation sector with the attention it deserves. We have worked to remove the unnecessary red tape burden that has been placed on the industry, creating a modern regulatory environment to boost economic growth and provide a safe, secure environment for participants and the public.”

Some of the key changes put forward in the Government’s response include:

• The rate of return paid by the CAA will be reduced from the current level of 6% to 3.5%

• The government will commission economic research into the GA sector

• A review of the Air Navigation Order will be carried out

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• There will be a consultation on pre-notification periods for GA flights, considering the possibility of reducing them to one hour before departure

• The MoD has agreed to work with the Department for Transport to explore opportunities for GA access to military airfields

Airspace

• The CAA intends to make some short-term amendments to the current version of CAP 725 relating to airspace changes during 2014, prior to a more fundamental review in 2015. Both iterations will include public consultation

• Formation of the FAS Visual Flight Rules Industry Group (FASVIG), which provides an opportunity for the General Aviation community to work collaboratively to address key areas of concern

• The CAA will monitor the use of controlled airspace, perhaps more systematically than it has done in the past and to put in place measures to make the re-classification of controlled airspace easier

The Star Chamber

• A cross-departmental Star Chamber will be established, which will be chaired by the Minister without Portfolio and include senior representatives from all government departments. The CAA will also report back on delivery of its GA work programme

• The Star Chamber will provide ongoing challenge to Government departments and the CAA to ensure that they are sticking to commitments made in relation to the programme of GA related work. The Star Chamber will also have the scope to develop new ideas for tackling issues which affect the GA sector

• The Star Chamber will lead on work to bring all developments and commitments into a Government Strategy for GA in spring 2015

General and Business Aviation Strategic Forum

• The Terms of Reference of the General Aviation Strategic Forum will be revised and the group renamed the General and Business Aviation Strategic Forum (GBASF)

• It will be chaired by Roger Hopkinson - Facilitator of the General Aviation Alliance, and Chairman of the Light Aircraft Association. Membership will include the Chief Executive Officer of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Chief Operating Officer of British Business and General Aviation, the CAA Chief Executive, and the Director of CAA’s Safety Airspace and Regulation Group. Government will be represented by the Department for Transport

• This Group will challenge, prioritise and oversee delivery of reforms and will report as necessary to the new Star Chamber

• The Group will also report to the CAA Financial Advisory Committee in order to ensure GA views on fees and charges are taken into account. Additionally, it will report directly to the Chief Executive of CAA and the Department for Transport’s Director General of Civil Aviation

Meanwhile, Minister without Portfolio Grant Shapps expressed his frustration at the slowness of government, the amount of red tape in the aviation sector and the attitudes of some of those involved in GA.

Speaking about the GA sector, he said: “We have all been captured in a Stockholm Syndrome kind of way, which is making it very hard for us to break free and recognise when the cage has been removed. So, for example, when it comes to a fifty-fifty decision about whether a piece of red tape – something supposedly in the interest of safety – should or shouldn’t be removed and there’s bugger all evidence in either direction, we choose to keep it. That is completely against what this government is all about; we should be on the other side of the fence.”

He also encouraged the GA community to work together to educate people – including member of other parties – about the sector.

To read the full report visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/general-aviation-red-tape-challenge-panel-report-government-response