We Asked, You Said, We Did

Below are some of the issues we have recently consulted on and their outcomes.

We asked

It is vital that CAP1724 Flying Display Authorisation Standards Document remains up-to-date and relevant, and that the CAA’s guidance material in this area remains proportionate, clear and unambiguous.

We asked for feedback from the regulated community on proposed amendments to CAP 1724 ahead of the 2021 display season. 

We compiled a draft of CAP 1724 Edition 3 and consulted on it from 15 January 2021 until 12 February 2021.

You said

We received a total of 35 unique comments to the draft CAP from 10 respondents. Of all the comments, 27 clearly conveyed some sort of change. Of these, 19 comments were textual in nature, suggesting revised wording or highlighting minor drafting points. Many of these comments were duplicated between respondents. Of the remaining eight comments, two were more substantive, calling for some sort of change of the underlying policy, five were non-specific and did not suggest any change and 1 offered no comment other than that the respondent had reviewed all of the changes.

We did

We accepted 11 of the all the comments received (41%). 

Of the 19 textual comments, we accepted 10. Most of these comprised rewording content for clarification, and we have tried to take a balanced view on what would be helpful. Several respondents requested changes to text that the majority of readers indicated as satisfactory. Some called for revision to text that we had carefully drafted in cooperation with various DAE’s while the remainder suggested changes that have already been made.

Regarding the two substantive comments we received, we implemented one. The one substantive comment we elected not to implement was due to its potential to have unintended consequences.

We have produced a final version of CAP 1724 Edition 3 which was published on 11 March 2021

We asked

We asked for comments on our proposals for revisions to the existing CAA Charges Schemes, due to take effect from 1 April 2021.

The key changes under consultation were:

  • EU exit 
  • Market Power Determination (MPD)
  • Safeguarding Competition in Air Transport 
  • Space 

You said

A total number of 48 respondents provided 48 submissions through the consultation exercise.

We did

We are grateful for those submissions received and after CAA Board discussion, we propose to implement the proposals in the consultation without further amendment, with the exception of the Design Organisation Approval transition fee.

Full details have been publised in our response document: FY21/22 CAA Statutory Charges Consultation Response 

We asked

It is vital that CAP 403 Flying Displays and Special Events: Safety and Administrative Requirements and Guidance remains up-to-date and relevant, and that the CAA’s guidance material in these areas remains proportionate, clear and unambiguous.

We asked for feedback from the regulated community on proposed amendments to CAP 403 ahead of the 2021 display season. 

We compiled a draft of CAP 403 Edition 18 and consulted on it over four working weeks from 15 December 2020 to 15 January 2021. 

You said

We received a total of 37 unique comments to the draft CAP 403 from 10 respondents.  

Of all the comments, 36 clearly conveyed some sort of change. Of these, just over 26 comments were textual in nature, suggesting revised wording or highlighting minor drafting points.

Many of these comments were duplicated between respondents; and the other 10 comments were more substantive, calling for some sort of change of the underlying policy. 

We did

We accepted 15 of the all the comments suggesting some sort of change (42%). 

Of the 26 textual comments received, we accepted 12. Most of these comprised of rewording content for clarification, and we have tried to take a balanced view on what would be helpful. Of the 14 we elected not to implement, most called for revision to text that we had carefully drafted in cooperation with other organisations while the remainder suggested changes that have already been made.

Regarding the 10 more substantive comments we received, we implemented 3. Of those we elected not to implement, the largest group asked that we expand on material that we thought was covered adequately either in this document or elsewhere. Others suggested that we introduce content that we thought was not necessary and out of scope for this CAP.

Finally, one suggested a change that would require a more substantial policy review including an amendment to the Air Navigation Order (ANO), which we believe to be beyond the scope of this consultation. However, we welcome further inputs to policy and the ANO, as and when these are released for consultation. 

We have produced a final version of CAP 403 Edition 18 which was published on 9 February 2021. 

We asked

As well as some demographic data, for research purposes, we asked 10 questions to help the CAA better understand:

  • how we can help the GA community (and its associated businesses and industries) to flourish after leaving EASA, and to identify its specific priorities;
  • how we can engage with and work more efficiently, constructively and collaboratively with the GA communities in delivering our objectives;
  • the priorities of those who are not part of the GA community when considering the future of General Aviation in the UK

You said

Just under 1000 respondents provided us with nearly 15,000 data points. The top priority for change was to simplify and rationalise GA flight crew licensing.

We did

We are very grateful for all responses received and having analysed all data points have put together a GA Change Programme for 21/22 and probably beyond which consists of 46 initiatives ranging from strategic projects to changes to the way that we work.

Full details have been published in our response document: CAP2146 UK General Aviation opportunities after leaving EASA - Consultation Response Document

We asked

Since the most recent revision to CAP1324 in February 2019, the CAA has been in discussions with stakeholders on further potential enhancements to its ADR policy, both to make ADR work better for consumers and to encourage airlines that do not currently participate in ADR to consider again the merits of the schemes that are offered by the two CAA-approved ADR bodies.  We asked for comments on the latest planned changes to CAP1324 which contain these policies.

You said

We received 13 responses to our consultation, which covered five policy areas. 

The majority of respondents welcomed clarification on the view that the ADR regulations permit ADR bodies to introduce a post-decision review process, the proposal to allow ADR bodies to implement trust account arrangements for the payment of consumer awards and clarification that ADR bodies can establish procedures for handling claims for statutory compensation on a flight basis rather than a claim basis. 

There was a mixed response to the proposals for the handling of passenger complaints that raise issues that are genuinely complex and novel for the purpose of establishing extraordinary circumstances under Regulation EC 261/20044. 

We did

Where concerns were raised by respondents, the CAA has addressed these in its decision document (CAP2104). This includes clarifications and reassurance regarding this policy change and reiterates the CAA’s intention to review all policy changes after 2 years.

In regard to the proposal around complex and novel cases, the CAA has amended the wording of the policy to expand the sharing of information to include the passenger and to clarify that whilst we do not expect this process to be invoked often, it would not be appropriate to define the frequency with which it could occur.

We asked

The purpose of the consultation was to hear your views on a draft procedure that sets out how the CAA will carry out its new role to review and, where appropriate, amend airspace classification.

Respondents were asked five questions (open text and multiple choice): general comments on the proposed procedure overall, specific feedback on the three stages in the procedure (Consider, Review and Amend), and views on cost impacts.

This consultation follows an earlier one in December 2019 where, in parallel with developing the new procedure, we asked for specific suggestions for volumes of controlled airspace where the classification could be amended. 
 

You said

We had 123 responses to the consultation, which we have published where we had permission to do so. Of the 123 responses, 72 were from members of the General Aviation community, 17 responses were from the commercial aviation industry, 12 from residents affected by aviation, and others were mostly from national or local representative bodies across the UK.

Overall, respondents expressed support for the concept and intention of the new procedure. In respect of the Consider, Review and Amend stages of the procedure, 63%, 60% and 59% respectively said that they were about right or that only some modifications were needed. There were also concerns about our proposals, such as a perceived lack of CAA commitment to undertake a review, the extent to which we engage with stakeholders, and whether the CAA’s decisions need independent oversight or an appeal process. Some also criticised the CAA for underestimating the cost impact of the procedure and said that reviewing airspace classification should not be a priority, especially in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

Some respondents said that airspace modernisation needed a more holistic approach, and questioned how classification changes would interact with airspace change proposals going through the existing CAP 1616 process. We also received comments about the type of data sources we should use, how we should prioritise proposals in our biennial plan, and the use of flexible airspace management as an alternative to reclassification.

Furthermore, respondents questioned how we assess environmental impacts of proposed changes, how we obtain the vital input from the relevant airspace controlling authority, and how the effectiveness of a change would be reviewed once implemented. 

We did

We have published the new procedure as CAP 1991 Procedure for the CAA to review the classification of airspace and a summary as CAP 1991a.

The new procedure takes effect on 1 December 2020. Later in December 2020 we will add to this page our plan for the first volumes of airspace where we will be considering potential amendments to the classification. These have been chosen from those highlighted to us in response to the initial review that we launched in December 2019. A new CAA team dedicated to the review of airspace classification will start work on those in January 2021.

We have also published a consultation response document CAP 1990 Outcome of the consultation on a draft procedure for reviewing the classification of airspace giving an overview of the responses received, including a quantitative analysis of the multiple choice questions, and the main changes we made as a result of the consultation.

Update - December 2020

The CAA has undertaken a recruitment process to put in place the team that will be delivering this work.  The team has now been recruited. One team member joined the CAA at the beginning of December. The rest of the team will be starting early in the New Year.

The CAA has examined each of the proposed volumes to determine which could be taken forward to the “Amend” phase. In line with CAP1991, a filtering process was applied and accordingly proposals were considered as suitable for this procedure where the following factors did not apply:

  • Would the change have an adverse effect on military operations;
  • Does the volume sit within airspace that is currently the subject of a change in airspace design through the CAP1616 Airspace Change Proposal (ACP) process;
  • Does the volume sit within airspace that will be assessed by the CAA as part of the ACP post implementation review (PIR) process; or
  • Does the proposal have a significant environmental or operational impact?

A number of the proposed volumes related to airspace which sits within an existing or recently completed airspace change proposal process which will then be subject to a Post Implementation Review (PIR).  As set out in CAP 1991, where we do not progress a classification amendment because of an ongoing or recent change in airspace design, we will instead formally notify the airspace change sponsor and (where appropriate) the Airspace Change Organising Group of the intelligence we have received. We expect the airspace change sponsor to consider and respond to this intelligence in its final airspace design, or in the final PIR report.

We asked

Safety Standards Acknowledgement and Consent (SSAC) is used for remunerated flights that are solely for recreational benefit and which could otherwise be conducted if they were private flights but with no money changing hands. It is not intended to provide a cheaper alternative for operators engaged in the transport of passengers or as a means of normalising extreme risk-taking. 

It is vital that CAP 1395 Safety Standards Acknowledgment and Consent remains up-to-date and relevant and that the CAA’s guidance material in this area remains as proportionate and clear as possible. This third edition contains a significant restructuring of the layout which now incorporates SSAC guidance and requirements previously contained in CAP632 “Operation of Permit-to-Fly ex-military aircraft on the UK register” which we have also recently updated. Various minor amendments were also untaken throughout the document.
Despite the circumstances related to COVID-19 on the flying community more generally, and in SSAC operations in particular; we nevertheless continued our review of CAP1395 and asked for feedback on proposed amendments. 

We compiled a draft of CAP 1395 Edition 3 and consulted on it over six working weeks from 24 July to 4 September 2020.  We had preceded this with a short pre-consultation with certain members of the community to make sure our proposals were on the right track, to which we received 27 comments, of which the vast majority were textual.

You said

We received a total of 38 unique comments to the draft CAP from 9 respondents. All respondents were from the SSAC or display pilot community.

All the comments except two conveyed some sort of change. Of these:

  • Just under half (16: 44%) were textual, suggesting revised wording or highlighting minor drafting points. Many of these comments were duplicated between respondents; and 
  • Half (18) were more substantive in nature, calling for rethink of our approach or suggesting a change to the underlying policy.
  • Two were unclear or unspecific.

We did

We accepted 15 of the all the comments (42%).

Of the 16 textual comments received, we accepted 11. Most of these comprised rewording content for clarification, and we have tried to take a balanced view on what would be helpful. Of those we did not accept, two requested changes to text that most readers thought was satisfactory. Three called for revision to text that we had carefully drafted following extensive discussions internally.

Of the 18 comments that we regarded as more substantive, we implemented 4. Of the ones we chose not to implement, 9 suggested steps that we felt would have unintended consequences.  4 others asked us to expand on material that we thought was covered adequately either in this document or elsewhere. Finally one comment would have involved review or revision to underlying policy such as airworthiness, operations regulation or amendment to the underlying legislation, all of which are beyond the scope of this consultation. However, we welcome inputs to those wider policies, as and when these are released for public consultation.

Overall, we thank you for your comments and hope our revised CAP will be more workable for operators, pilots and participants.

Edition 3 has now been published: Safety Standards Acknowledgement and Consent (SSAC) Edition 3 

We asked

The Department for Transport and CAA commissioned the airspace change masterplan from the Airspace Change Organising Group (ACOG) by. To ensure the masterplan is consistent with government policy and CAA statutory airspace functions, the CAA must ‘accept’ it into our Airspace Modernisation Strategy. 

The CAA’s engagement exercise published in CAP 1887 set out draft criteria for the CAA’s decision whether to accept the masterplan into the Airspace Modernisation Strategy – based on assessment by the CAA and Department for Transport of information provided by ACOG to determine whether the commission for the masterplan is being met, and the Government’s policy objectives are being delivered.

The engagement exercise was to give us the opportunity to strengthen our proposed criteria and take feedback on whether we were asking the right questions of ACOG as it developed iterations of the masterplan.

You said

We had 98 responses in total which we have published where we had permission to do so. Of those,

    • 34 responses were from members of the General Aviation community
    • 25 responses were from residents affected by aviation or local organisations such as community action groups
    • 12 responses were from the commercial aviation industry
    • eight responses were from a national or international representative organisation such as a trade association
    • seven responses were from a central or local government body, or from an elected political representative such as a councillor or MP
    • the remainder of responses were from a variety of organisations or individuals.

We asked four questions, all of which allowed a free-text response.

Two of the four questions included a multiple-choice answer format, where, of the 98 responses:

    • 44 responses thought that significant modifications to the acceptance criteria were needed; 33 responses said that the criteria were about right (19) or that only minor modifications were needed (14).
    • 61 responses thought that there were examples where further policy may be required to guide trade-off decisions in the masterplan and 10 thought there were not.

From our analysis of free-text responses we identified various themes across the four questions, which we arranged under 10 headings as follows:

    • Consultation or acceptance criteria not easy to understand
    • Proposed approach for accepting the masterplan
    • Negative comments about the CAA, government policy or ACOG’s impartiality
    • Masterplan acceptance criteria and airspace modernisation in the light of changed circumstances
    • Design standards that inform the masterplan
    • Envisaged engagement on masterplan inadequate or too much
    • Trade-offs – clarity and stakeholder input
    • Reducing environmental impacts should take precedence over growth
    • Concern about the extent of controlled airspace and/or detriment to General Aviation
    • Concern about airspace access or use by drones and spacecraft.

CAP 2157 explains these responses in more detail.

We did

We have published the criteria that must be met for acceptance as CAP 2156a Airspace Change Masterplan – CAA acceptance criteria and CAP 2156b Airspace Change Masterplan – assessment framework. In addition, we are publishing CAP 2156c which explains how you can give your input to masterplan development.

The table below summarises the changes we made to the acceptance criteria the originally proposed in CAP 1887.

Subject

Change

Scope

The acceptance criteria have been amended to reflect that ACOG has now been commissioned to produce a masterplan covering the UK and not just southern England, thus encompassing the FASI-South and FASI-North programmes (FASI meaning Future Airspace Strategy Implementation) redesigning the existing airspace structure.

Clarity of document

For greater clarity we have published the criteria for accepting the masterplan as CAP 2156a Airspace change masterplan – CAA acceptance criteria and the assessment framework as CAP 2156b Airspace change masterplan – assessment framework. By assessment framework we mean the legal and policy considerations, and the process that the co-sponsors will follow (1) to assess ACOG’s progress with developing the airspace change masterplan iterations and (2) to confirm that these are delivering what the co-sponsors commissioned. We have introduced diagrams to illustrate the masterplan development process more succinctly, and also how it relates to the CAP 1616 process that sponsors of the airspace change proposals making up the masterplan must also follow. We have published a short guide, CAP 2156c Airspace change masterplan – future opportunities to express views, explaining the opportunities that stakeholders have for engagement with ACOG about the masterplan and sponsors about airspace change proposals.

Plain English

We have used plain English as far as we can for the acceptance criteria and explained any unavoidable technical terms. We have specified that ACOG’s engagement material must include a simple, clear and non-technical version in plain English, to include cumulative impacts, and a clear explanation of the expected benefits and programme timeline.

Transparency

We are considering with ACOG and the Department for Transport how best to publish all the information associated with the development of the masterplan, ideally as a ‘one-stop shop’, probably as a CAA webpage.

Iteration 3

As a result of this engagement exercise, we have decided to make changes to the stages at which the masterplan will present proposed trade-off solutions. The proposal in CAP 1887 was that ACOG will include in Iteration 3 actual proposed trade-off solutions to the conflicts and interdependencies identified in Iteration 2. We have now decided that Iteration 3 will not propose one design option in preference to another. The masterplan will now only propose trade-off solutions in subsequent iteration(s).

We have done this to ensure that the final iteration(s) of the masterplan is/are the product of analysis carried out by individual airspace change sponsors. That analysis will be based on the output of the consultation stage (Stage 3) of the sponsors’ individual constituent CAP 1616 process airspace change proposals. These Stage 3 consultations will be an important opportunity for stakeholders to influence decisions on proposed trade-off solutions that may affect them (see below). ACOG will include in Iteration 3 a description of how specific design trade-offs between interdependent airspace change proposals could be resolved conceptually. Iteration 3 will be based on the outputs of Stage 2 and 3 work carried out by sponsors during the CAP 1616 process.

Final iteration

Iteration 4 (and potentially subsequent iterations) will show the complete, detailed plan of airspace changes setting out how ACOG, working with airspace change sponsors, envisages that any conflicts between interdependent airspace change proposals are resolved, i.e. include proposed trade off decisions.

Engagement

ACOG will consider the views of individual stakeholders at the strategic, masterplan level through a public engagement exercise on a draft of Iteration 3. This includes views on the way the masterplan proposes conceptual solutions to potential conflicts between interdependent airspace change proposals, and views on any potential gaps or improvements in the masterplan. Through this engagement ACOG will make stakeholders aware of the upcoming consultations on each constituent airspace change proposal, how they are linked together, and how stakeholders can input into proposed trade-off decisions that may affect them.

Flexibility

We have introduced greater flexibility into the acceptance criteria:

  • when submitting Iteration 2 for acceptance, ACOG is required to include a plan for the content of later iterations; we will keep the acceptance criteria in CAP 2156a for Iteration 3 and beyond under review and update them as circumstances require
  • in development of a particular iteration, ACOG may choose to make a case to the CAA and Department for Transport as co‑sponsors during the ongoing assessment process that a particular element in the criteria should be moved between iterations, or omitted should it no longer be relevant or proportionate to the required outcome
  • we recognise that there may be more iterations than the four described in our engagement document CAP 1887
  • in order to progress the modernisation programme most efficiently, it may be beneficial for ACOG to divide the masterplan into separate ‘clusters’ with different timelines, each with a set of interdependent airspace change proposals; the co-sponsors will consider ACOG’s advice on this and will accept these clusters in any accepted version of Iteration 3
  • we have made clear that we will need to update the acceptance criteria over the lifetime of the masterplan.

Masterplan development

We have made clearer that the acceptance criteria focus on outcomes for the masterplan, rather than prescribing a specific process ACOG must follow. ACOG will be required to explain milestones, assumptions and the process it is using to develop the masterplan iterations, including how it arrives at proposed solutions for resolving conflicts. The co-sponsors will be assessing whether ACOG is following this approach and delivering the required outcomes while remaining consistent with the legal and policy framework.

Environmental assessments

We have added to the criteria that a strategic environmental assessment and Habitats Regulation assessment will need to be developed for the masterplan. These assessments are a fundamental part of, and therefore must inform, ACOG’s development of the masterplan. The CAA is legally responsible for ensuring that these assessments are carried out in respect of the masterplan. We will, in due course, set out what ACOG’s role is in these assessments, and where in the process this occurs. The acceptance process will ensure that these assessments have been carried out and acted upon appropriately.

General Aviation

The acceptance criteria already required the masterplan to include information about the cumulative impacts of different design choices. We have added to the criteria a specific requirement for ACOG to include in each iteration of the masterplan an assessment of the potential positive benefits or negative impacts on airspace usability, including on the General Aviation sector overall.

CAA procedure to review airspace classification

We have recognised in the masterplan assessment framework (CAP  2156b) that there could be an interaction between the CAA’s new procedure to review airspace classification and the masterplan where the volume of airspace concerned is the subject of an airspace change proposal which forms part of the masterplan. The CAA would formally notify the sponsor concerned of the evidence derived as part of the classification review and also inform ACOG as masterplan coordinator.

CAP 2157 explains in more detail how we took into account your responses to the engagement exercise in the acceptance criteria.

We asked

It is vital that CAP 632 Operation of Permit-to-Fly Ex-Military Aircraft on the UK Register remains up-to-date and relevant, and that the CAA’s guidance material in these areas remains as proportionate and clear as possible.

Despite the circumstances related to COVID-19 on the flying community more generally, we nevertheless continued our review of CAP632 and asked for feedback on proposed amendments. 

We compiled a draft of CAP 632 Edition 8 and consulted on it over six working weeks from 30 April to 12 June 2020.

You said

We received a total of 469 unique comments to the draft CAP from 23 respondents. All respondents were from the ex-military aircraft community including display pilots, operators, flying display directors, and other organisations. Three responses were formal submissions from representative bodies or associations.

All the comments except one conveyed some sort of change. Of these:

  • most (82%) were minor, suggesting revised wording or highlighting minor drafting points. Many of these were comments were duplicated between respondents; and  
  • the other 18% were more substantive in nature, calling for rethink of our approach or suggesting a change to the underlying policy.

We did

We accepted 358 of the all the comments (over 76%).

Of the 385 minor comments received, we accepted 78%. Most of these comprised rewording content for clarification, and we have tried to take a balanced view on what would be helpful. Several respondents requested changes to text that most readers thought was satisfactory. Others called for revision to text that we had carefully drafted following extensive discussions internally or with external organisations, and did not feel that the change would bring greater benefit than the drafting based on the prior in-depth collaborative analysis.

Of the 83 comments that we regarded as more substantive, we implemented just over 70%. A significant proportion of this group asked for consolidation of the content, and the cross-referencing (rather than duplication) of material read-across from other CAA documents or processes. One example of this concerned overlap with CAP1395, Safety Standards Acknowledgment & Consent, which is also in the process of being updated following a recent public consultation. As a result of these comments, we undertook a major redraft of this CAP, and believe the results address most of the substantive comments received.

Regarding that redraft, we have made the following broad categories of changes since the previous edition, resulting in a noticeably shorter document:

  • References to Safety Standards Acknowledgement and Consent (SSAC) have been removed from this publication and incorporated into CAP1395 “Safety Standards Acknowledgement and Consent”.
  • Re-structure and condensing of content
  • Removal of duplication where possible
  • Introduction of SRG1872 for initial OCM applications and variations
  • Introduction and reference to the CAA Scheme of Charges
  • Simplification of operator responsibilities
  • Introduction of an accountable manager role
  • Introduction of Continuing Airworthiness Coordinator role
  • Introduction of Mandatory Occurrence Reporting (MOR) in line with CAP382
  • Insertion of Fully Remunerated Flying Training application form (previously AIC 55/2016 which will be deleted)
  • Simplification of Operational systems requirements (eg for ejection seat & ATRE process).
  • Clarification on when passengers can be flown
  • Clarification on recommendations, and guidance as to what is regulation
  • Introduction of an example Dual Check form
  • Removal of chapter on Safety Management Systems and replaced with a link to CAP1059
  • Introduction of guidance for Commercial Operation

Regarding the 24 more substantive comments that we elected not to implement, most asked us to expand on material that we thought was covered adequately either in this document or elsewhere. Several comments also involved review or revision to underlying policy such as airworthiness, operations regulation or in some cases amendment to the Air Navigation Order (ANO), all of which are beyond the scope of this consultation. However, we welcome inputs to those wider policies, as and when these are released for public consultation.

Overall, we thank you for your comments and hope our revised CAP will be more workable for operators, pilots and others.

CAP 632 Operation of 'Permit-to-Fly' ex-military aircraft on the UK register (Edition 8) has now been published

We asked

The purpose of the consultation was to ask you to help us identify volumes of controlled airspace in which the classification could be amended to better reflect the needs of all airspace users on an equitable basis. The consultation asked respondents to each identify two volumes of airspace where amendments to current structures and access arrangements should be considered. Respondents were asked to identify the location of the opportunities as well as the flight level, and time of the day and year when the classifications could be amended. We asked respondents to provide a rationale and supporting evidence for their suggestions. In addition to the online consultation, the CAA held four public engagement events including three dedicated roundtables with groups that represent airspace users.

You said

We had 604 responses to the consultation, which we have published where we have been given permission to do so. Most respondents identified themselves as members of the general aviation community, accounting for 557 of the 604 responses. Geographically, 274 respondents were in the South East, including those who represented an organisation based there; the remainder was spread across the UK.

Respondents were asked to submit up to two volumes of airspace each. With over 600 responses received, the CAA assessed over 1000 volumes of airspace submitted through the consultation. These opportunities corresponded to 57 locations across the UK. The full list of these locations is included in our report on the consultation, CAP 1935, available at the bottom of this page.

On the whole respondents expressed support for the concept and intention of the classification review and several comments were received on the engagement opportunity presented by the consultation. Despite welcoming the review, several concerns were expressed that it will fail to deliver any tangible benefits to the general aviation community.

There was a high level of dissatisfaction expressed over the visualisations included in the consultation. It was felt that the visualisation images did not provide a clear indication of activity in the various controlled airspace areas shown and questioned why movement data  was not supplied in the consultation.

Although support was expressed for the need to modernise and rationalise UK airspace to create structures which are safe, efficient and proportionate for all users, some respondents were concerned with the implications of continually increasing the level of controlled airspace. Similarly, concerns were expressed that the current restrictions on general aviation movements had resulted in flights being funnelled into tight corridors, creating pinch-points.

There was support shown for the introduction of using airspace flexibly, and several respondents commented on the need for technological solutions, such as electronic conspicuity, to be implemented to support its deployment. A number of respondents cautioned however that introducing flexible airspace around busy airfields could cause confusion and create a significant additional risk.

Strong comments were received from the general aviation community on airspace change decisions taken within the last few years, and the resulting detrimental effect they have had on the community and their ability to use airspace. There were also suggestions, in particular in the roundtables, that policies concerning lower airspace should be reviewed.

We did

We have published a report on the consultation CAP 1935, available at the bottom of this page.  The CAA has also published CAP 1934, a consultation on our proposed procedure for amending airspace classifications. Once this new procedure has been agreed and implemented, we will use that to review the potential volumes of airspace submitted through this initial consultation and identify those where we think the classification could be amended in line with safety and security requirements.

In the consultation report we:

  • list the airspace volumes suggested by respondents as candidates for a classification change;
  • include case studies on three of the suggestions received, in which we illustrate how we might treat them under our proposed procedure, to illustrate how we would take the suggestions forward once the new procedure is in place (noting that this might change, when we amend our proposed procedure after the consultation);
  • respond to each of the themes raised by respondents to explain our perspective and, where we agree that action is needed, what we will do. This includes a commitment to review the Controlled Airspace Containment Policy (January 2014) and the Application of ICAO Airspace Classifications in UK Flight Information Regions (November 2014).

We asked

The purpose of this consultation was for you to give the CAA views on our proposal of extending paid-for initial pilot training to be conducted using certain aeroplanes which hold a UK national Permit-to-Fly (PtF).

We presented a comprehensive, yet proportionate set of requirements to mitigate risks and where possible align safety standards for airworthiness to a comparable level of safety with those already in the flight training environment.

The consultation was drafted by the CAA with input from members of the GA community, asked seven main questions and was open for six weeks. 

You said

We received a total of 441 responses of which 425 were unique. Where possible, the unique responses were categorised in order to identify and weight the responses accordingly. We have prepared a Comment Response document (CAP1928) that summarises the results.

We did

Following this consultation results analysis, we have been liaising internally within the CAA and CAP1928 sets out how this project will be now undertaken.

We asked

The purpose of this consultation was for you to give the CAA views on our proposal of extending paid-for initial (Ab initio) pilot training to be conducted using amateur-built microlights which hold a UK national Permit-to-Fly (PtF).

We presented a comprehensive, yet proportionate set of requirements to mitigate risks and where possible align safety standards for airworthiness to a comparable level of safety with those already in the flight training environment.

The consultation was drafted by the CAA with input from members of the GA community, asked six main questions and was open for six weeks.

You said

We received a total of 400 responses of which 387 were unique. Where possible, the unique responses were categorised in order to identify and weight the responses accordingly. We have prepared a Comment Response document (CAP1927) that summarises the results.

We did

Following this consultation results analysis, we have been liaising internally within the CAA and CAP1927 sets out how this project will now be undertaken.

We asked

For comments from industry on our proposals which were outlined in our consultation document.

You said

This document includes the CAA responses to the main concerns expressed by the respondents to the 2010/21 Charges Consultation: CAA Response Document (CAP1880).

We did

As a consequence of the severity of the current COVID-19 outbreak and its impact worldwide, the CAA has decided to delay the implementation of its recently proposed charge increases for three months to assist the UK aviation industry in these difficult times.

The CAA currently intends to review these matters in June 2020.

We asked

It is vital to update CAP660 Parachuting to ensure that the CAA’s guidance material in this area remains proportionate, unambiguous and congruent with the very latest best practices.

We asked for feedback from the community on proposed amendments to CAP 660 ahead of the 2020 season, and undertook a full public consultation from 23 December 2019 to 17 January 2020. 

You said

We received a total of 178 unique comments to the draft CAP from 16 respondents. All respondents were from the parachuting community including parachute training or display organisations, associations or individual parachutists. Of all the comments, 110 conveyed some sort of change, of which:

  • 65% were textual in nature, suggesting revised wording or highlighting minor drafting points; and  
  • the other 35% were more substantive, calling for some sort of change of the underlying policy. 

We did

We accepted 44 (38%) of the all the comments suggesting some sort of change. 

Of the 71 textual comments received, 35% resulted in changes to the text. Most of these comprised rewording content for clarification, and we have tried to take a balanced view on what would be helpful. Of the ones we were not able to accept, most (23) involved changes to CAA standard definitions which involves further work and may be considered in due course; seven suggested changes to text that was deemed satisfactory to the vast majority of respondents, and a few others changed material that was either explained elsewhere, or will be dealt with in another way.

Of the 39 substantive change requests, we implemented 18. These are obviously more difficult to consider as they require a re-think of fundamental policy or decisions already taken after careful assessment. Of these, 17 directly resulted in changes to the text. 

The most notable recurring issue among these were from respondents who are, or were representatives of, military-style round canopy parachutists. We carefully considered all of these and have made the following changes:

  • p.41, table at para 3.130 regarding acceptable surface wind limits: inserted maxima for both student and experienced/display team round parachutists.
  • p.43, table at paragraph 3.149 regarding minimum heights at which parachutists should have their main parachute open: inserted minima for round canopy parachutists (except during displays), and for British Skydiving ‘C’ license holders or equivalent using static line round parachutes during displays.
  • p.49, paragraph 5.18 regarding reserve parachute canopy: introduced a front mounted round reserve parachute requirement for round canopy parachutists. 

In relation to comments we elected not to implement, seven concerned topics that need to be investigated more deeply and so we deferred them to either a separate document or the next edition of this CAP; six comments asked that we expand on material that we thought was covered adequately either in this document or elsewhere; and six suggested changes that would require substantial policy review including, in some cases, amendment to the Air Navigation Order (ANO), both of which are beyond the scope of this consultation. Finally, one covered an area that in our opinion has been adequately addressed, and one comment was not specific enough for us to take action.

We have produced a final version of CAP 660 Edition 5 which has now been published.

We asked

It is vital that CAP1724 Flying Display Authorisation Standards Document remains up-to-date and relevant, and that the CAA’s guidance material in this area remains proportionate, clear and unambiguous.

We asked for feedback from the regulated community on proposed amendments to CAP 1724 ahead of the 2020 display season. 

We compiled a draft of CAP 1724 Edition 2 and consulted on it from 16 December 2019−12 January 2020. 

You said

We received a total of 80 unique comments to the draft CAP from 14 respondents. All respondents were from the Flying Display community including Display Pilots, Display Teams, Display Authorisation Evaluators, and Flying Display Directors. 

All the comments conveyed some sort of change. Of these:

  • just under 30% were textual in nature, suggesting revised wording or highlighting minor drafting points. Many of these were comments were duplicated between respondents; and  
  • the remainder were more substantive, calling for some sort of change of the underlying policy. 

We did

We accepted 31 of the all the comments (39%). 

Of the 23 textual comments received, we accepted 43%. Most of these comprised rewording content for clarification, and we have tried to take a balanced view on what would be helpful. Several respondents requested changes to text that the majority of readers indicated as satisfactory. Some comments suggested clarifying definitions, and where possible we tried to accept these, however some suggestions would have meant revising CAA standard definitions which involves further work and may be considered in due course. 

Of the 57 substantive comments, we implemented 37%. Of these, 7 comments directly resulted in changes to the text, and another 12 were considered to be similar to changes already made. Two other substantive comments received were noted for consideration in either another Edition of this CAP. 

Regarding the comments we elected not to implement, many asked that we expand on material that we thought was covered adequately either in this document or elsewhere; or that we introduce content that we thought was not necessary. We also received some comments suggesting reinstating content that was actively removed from earlier Editions. 

Finally, some suggested changes would require substantial policy review including in some cases amendment to the Air Navigation Order (ANO), both of which are beyond the scope of this consultation.  However, we welcome further inputs to policy and the ANO, as and when these are released for consultation. 

We are have produced a final version of CAP 1724 Edition 2 which was published on 25 Feb 2020. 
 

We asked

It is vital that CAP 403 Flying Displays and Special Events: Safety and Administrative Requirements and Guidance remains up-to-date and relevant, and that the CAA’s guidance material in these areas remains proportionate, clear and unambiguous.

We asked for feedback from the regulated community on proposed amendments to CAP 403 ahead of the 2020 display season. 

We compiled a draft of CAP 403 Edition 17 and consulted on it over four working weeks from 4 to 29 November 2019. 

You said

We received a total of 200 unique comments to the draft CAP 403 from 30 respondents. All respondents were from the Flying Display community including Flying Display Directors, Event Organisers and Display Pilots. Four responses were formal submissions from representative bodies or associations. 

Of all the comments, 187 clearly conveyed some sort of change. Of these:

  • just over 40% were textual in nature, suggesting revised wording or highlighting minor drafting points. Many of these were comments were duplicated between respondents; and  
  • the other nearly 60% were more substantive, calling for some sort of change of the underlying policy. 

We did

We accepted 95 of the all the comments suggesting some sort of change (51%). 

Of the 74 textual comments received, we accepted 35%. Most of these comprised rewording content for clarification, and we have tried to take a balanced view on what would be helpful. Several respondents requested changes to text that the majority of readers indicated as satisfactory. Others called for revision to text that we had carefully drafted in cooperation with other organisations such as the Military Aviation Authority. Some comments suggested clarifying definitions, and where possible we tried to accept these, however some suggestions would have meant revising CAA standard definitions which involves further work and may be considered in due course. 

Of the 113 substantive comments, we implemented 61%. Of these, 42 comments directly resulted in changes to the text, and another 40 were considered to be similar to changes already made. A significant proportion of these groups concerned our revisions in this Edition to Chapter 16 regarding the use of pyrotechnics.  Therefore, we decided to undertake a major redraft as a result, and we hope the result will be more workable to the community. Another 8 substantive comments received were noted for consideration in either another Edition of this CAP or another document such as CAP 1724 Display Standards. 

Regarding the comments we elected not to implement, many asked that we expand on material that we thought was covered adequately either in this document or elsewhere; or that we introduce content that we thought was not necessary. We also received some comments suggesting reinstating content that was actively removed from earlier Editions. 

Finally, some suggested changes would require substantial policy review including in some cases amendment to the Air Navigation Order (ANO), both of which are beyond the scope of this consultation.  However, we welcome further inputs to policy and the ANO, as and when these are released for consultation. 

We have produced a final version of CAP 403 Edition 17 was published on 5 February 2020. 

We asked

For comments from community on our proposals to opt-out aeroplanes, sailplanes and helicopters below 600kg further of the Article 2(8) of the EASA Basic Regulation, as outlined in our consultation document. Broadly we asked for views on (a) whether the UK should take up this opt-out; and if so (b) how we should define the opted-out aeroplanes, either as microlights or light sport aircraft.

You said

We received over 1350 responses to this consultation, one of the largest responses to a general aviation consultation in recent years. We have prepared a Consultation Response document (CAP1920) that summarises the results.

We did

Following this consultation results analysis, we have been liaising with key community stakeholders and the Department for Trainsaport about implementing this opt-out in the most efficient way given wider developments such as Brexit. CAP1920 sets out how this will be undertaken.

We asked

The purpose of this consultation was for you to give the CAA views on the process we should use for making decisions on PPR proposals – PPR meaning air traffic control operational procedure changes that give rise to a planned and permanent redistribution of air traffic.

The process begins once an air navigation service provider has identified (through an internal process) that an air traffic control operational procedure change might qualify as a PPR. After explaining to the CAA why it is needed, the air navigation service provider must then assess and compare the impacts of the options available to meet that need, consult those potentially affected about the option(s) chosen, and take feedback into account in any final proposal.

You said

We had 103 formal responses to the consultation, which we have published where we have permission to do so. Of those 103, 55 were from residents affected by aviation, 19 from local government, 12 from the commercial aviation industry, eight from the General Aviation community, and nine from representative or national organisations or institutes. Eighty respondents were resident or based in the south-east, the others being from across the UK.

We received many responses challenging our proposed process and asking for modifications. There were a few common themes, but otherwise the modifications being asked for varied considerably and related to a specific element of the process rather than the whole. Some requests were diametrically opposed, for example some asking for a shorter process and some for a longer process. 

Although our consultation document made clear what was in or out of scope of the consultation, a number of the responses concerned matters out of scope that are not in the CAA’s gift to change. We were therefore obliged to disregard those elements for the purposes of this consultation. 

Airports generally thought that before an air navigation service provider initiated the PPR process, collaboration, consultation and/or agreement between the airport and air navigation service provider was essential. Some airports argued that they should be able to initiate a PPR. Other responses suggested that other organisations, such as local authorities or community organisations, could be the promoter of a PPR.

On the whole, industry respondents seemed to accept the need for the new regulatory process, but were keen to minimise the burden. Some thought that the process went too far and wanted reassurance that for minor changes the process would be appropriately scaled, and that safety-critical changes would not be held up. Some respondents wanted the process to be streamlined where proposals were improving noise impacts, while others called for a process that was at least as rigorous as for a proposed change in airspace design. 

The 'trigger' process for an air navigation service provider to identify a 'relevant PPR' received significant support from respondents, but some raised concerns with the way this would work.

Some respondents expressed concern that the CAA does not have the power to require an air navigation service provider to go through the PPR process retrospectively should it fail to identify that a change in operational procedures meets the criteria for a relevant PPR.

There was general consensus that when making a change in air traffic control operational procedures, the air navigation service provider should generally have multiple options, although it could depend on the circumstances and on the type of PPR.

Regarding our proposals for a post-implementation review – the stage where we verify whether the anticipated impacts and benefits in the original proposal and CAA decision have been delivered – there were some concerns about the air navigation service provider producing an objective assessment of the impacts.

There was support for a shortened process for temporary changes, providing that the change was genuinely temporary. Some respondents expressed concern that the shortened process was still over-long and asked what would happen should operational changes such as routine maintenance of ground navigation aids need to be achieved sooner than the process would allow.

There were concerns from industry that they and/or the CAA would not be ready to implement the new decision-making process by 1 November 2019. Some questioned the impact on CAA resources.

We identified and categorised nearly 100 specific recommendations or questions about how we could improve the process.

We did

We have published a consultation response document Airspace change: outcome of the consultation on a decision-making process for PPR (planned and permanent redistribution of air traffic) proposals

Below we summarise how we have taken into account your responses. We are now proceeding to publication of the process in a new third edition of CAP 1616 in January 2020. 

Structure
We are incorporating the PPR decision-making process into CAP 1616. For clarity we are dividing CAP 1616 into three parts:

Part 1: the airspace change process (permanent changes to the notified airspace design), including: 

  • Part 1a: temporary changes to the notified airpace design
  • Part 1b: airspace trials

Part 2: PPR, including:

  • Part 2a: temporary PPR changes

Part 3: Airspace information: transparency about airspace use and aircraft movements.

Implementation arrangements
Deferred by the Secretary of State from 1 November 2019 until 1 February 2020. Because a supplementary instruction changing air traffic control operational procedures must normally be notified to the CAA’s Safety and Airspace Regulation Group on 30 days’ notice, the CAA will begin accepting PPR proposals once the new process is published in January 2020.

Overall PPR decision-making process
We are maintaining, for the most part, the process proposed in our consultation with some minor modifications. The consultation responses, in our view, did not identify alternative proposals that would better balance the needs and expectations of the policy requirements and/or different stakeholders.

CAA interpretation of criteria for a Type 1 'relevant PPR'
Revised chart illustrating what is and is not in scope. Clarification for airports with two parallel runways.

Who needs to apply for PPR approval
Only an air navigation service provider can seek approval for a PPR, but it will be required to confirm on the Statement of Need whether it has the full agreement of any relevant airport operator.

Stakeholder collaboration
Recognition that some PPR change activities may be led by airports or other stakeholders, and that we welcome collaboration between the air navigation service provider and other stakeholders. For example, airports could carry out consultations, and communities could help promote environmentally beneficial changes.

Statement of Need
A Statement of Need is submitted by an air navigation service provider, if necessary on behalf of an airport operator, where:

  • it identifies a proposed operational procedure change as a relevant PPR
  • it identifies a proposed operational procedure change as not being a relevant PPR, but wants the CAA’s confirmation of that assessment, for example to provide transparency for local residents
  • it is unsure whether a proposed operational procedure change is a relevant PPR, and is asking the CAA to make a determination under paragraph 15 of the annex to the Air Navigation Directions.

Post-implementation review
Clarification that when the CAA reviews the air navigation service provider’s post-implementation report, we will state whether we consider the post-implementation report closed, open, or partially satisfied: 

  • we will consider it closed if the implemented change in operational procedures satisfactorily achieves – within acceptable tolerance limits – the objective of the proposal as it was approved by the CAA
  • we will consider it open if we are not satisfied with the report (if, for example, we believe the analysis or conclusions to be inconclusive) and will require the air navigation service provider to rectify the shortcomings in the report
  • we will consider it partially satisfied if the change in operational procedures requires modifications to better achieve the objective of the proposal as it was approved by the CAA.

In the third case, the CAA will require that those modifications are then further monitored for effectiveness. Once the modifications have been implemented and operated for a period (approximately six months), there are three further possible outcomes (mirroring the process in Stage 7 of Part 1 of CAP 1616):

  • noting that the modifications did not better achieve the objective of the proposal as it was approved by the CAA, we may conclude that the original change in procedures was satisfactory and is confirmed; or 
  • noting that the modifications did not better achieve the objective of the proposal as it was approved by the CAA, we may conclude that the original change in procedures was not satisfactory and the original change is not confirmed (in which case, in order to pursue its change in procedures, the air navigation service provider will need to commence a fresh PPR proposal from Stage 1); or
  • we may conclude that the modifications do better – within acceptable tolerance limits – achieve the objective of the proposal as it was approved by the CAA and so the modified procedures will be confirmed.

Temporary changes
A shorter and more meaningful process than we originally proposed, in recognition that it would be disproportionate to mirror the existing CAP 1616 process for a temporary change to airspace design. There were concerns that the decision-making process might take longer than the temporary change in operational procedures itself. In recognition of concerns from communities at the six month maximum duration of a temporary PPR, we are requiring the air navigation service provider to provide a short report on the change after three months before we consider extending approval for a further three months.

                                               +++++++++

Responses to the consultation

Responses, where we have consent to publish, can be viewed by following the the link below under 'Published Responses' (for online responses) and the link at the foot of this page under 'Related Documents' (for offline responses).  

 

 

We asked

For comments from Industry regarding the creation of CAP 1649, which will be used to aid the implementation of EU 2017/373 Annex XIII (Part-Pers) for full and limited certificated ANSPs.  The consultation ran from 4th April 2019 to 31st May 2019.

You said

The CAA received 68 comments from 18 stakeholders. We accepted 14 of these comments (20.5%), partially accepted a further 2 comments (3%) and have not accepted 8 comments (11.5%).  The overwhelming majority of responses (65%) were generic comments and questions with the responders asking for clarity on specific areas.   This document provides a response to the comments provided. You can find our consultation response document here.

We did

The full revised CAP1649 document takes account of comments received and will be published on our website as soon as possible.

We asked

For views on proposals to remove the requirement for an ATC unit to provide separation between Special VFR flights in certain circumstances.

You said

We received 203 responses; 68 from organisations and 135 from individual pilots. There was little support for the Special VFR proposal.

We did

Based on the feedback provided through the consultation, our activity focussed on preparing for the expiry of ORS4 No 1312 on 27th March 2020.