Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
By IMCR
#1841947
Ian - an insightful reply and it is definitely the case the CAA can be very good.

I am also sure on the whole, the intention is sound. If the CAA have a weakness it seems to me it is to listen far more to certain factions than others, and an inbalance in keeping those happy who have the ability to shout loudest. I suppose nothing different there as with so many organisations.

I found with the debate over the IMCr it was only when there was a public petition, a huge amount of very self evident chat between pilots, and I also recall Flyer was very supportive, that meetings were hastily arranged and policy was changed.

Back to my original point, it seems so difficult for GA not to appear divided, and the more it appears divided, the more easily it is ignored, intentionally or otherwise.

I know discussion has gone around this many times before, but it is interesting even on this excellent forum, on the key issues pilots rarely seem to agree on anything or to present a united front. I hear there is a very wide feeling that the current regulatory response to infringements is not as effective as it could be, yet you would not necessarily reach this conclusion from the discussions unless you understand that the most vociferous supporters have vested interests. For example when I wrote about how it could be improved, almost all the contributors had either CAA or GASCo connections it turned out. Even on this thread I have an idea of some who are connected with the CAA.

You make a point about anonymous contributors, but actually a far more important aspect is that in an ideal world contributors should disclose their vested interests. I see this being asked a little more frequently.

I am not suggesting you do anything about it as after this is just a chat forum, but I know for example when the CAA read what is written (and you and I know they do) it can convey a view that is not representative of the rank and file, and I think it is important this is understood -

unless of course I am wrong?
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By johnm
#1841956
The CAA is a complex organisation dealing with complex issues. That is never a straightforward scenario. However...........

Gold plating and rear end covering are UK cultural issues and the CAA is as subject to those issues as any similar organisation.

There is historic baggage which is generally not supportive of innovation or even simply moving with the times

There is a tendency to kow tow to the perceived priorities of government, CAT and high end GA which has implications for airspace management and how drone activity is dealt with. This is understandable as "he who pays the piper calls the tune "

There is a UK tendency to look at "management" as a universal skill so that those in charge quite often have little understanding of what they are in charge of....she who runs GA and drones has a background in consultancy at Microsoft.
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By Snorker
#1841964
johnm wrote:The CAA is a complex organisation dealing with complex issues. That is never a straightforward scenario. However...........

Gold plating and rear end covering are UK cultural issues and the CAA is as subject to those issues as any similar organisation.

There is historic baggage which is generally not supportive of innovation or even simply moving with the times

There is a tendency to kow tow to the perceived priorities of government, CAT and high end GA which has implications for airspace management and how drone activity is dealt with. This is understandable as "he who pays the piper calls the tune "

There is a UK tendency to look at "management" as a universal skill so that those in charge quite often have little understanding of what they are in charge of....she who runs GA and drones has a background in consultancy at Microsoft.


I'm probably an outlier in my thinking here but, given the complexity and the need to meet the customers needs - we are all customers are we not? I'd rather have someone with a "management" background from an international complex organisation like Microsoft going into bat for us (and from what I understand the GA Unit often has to go into bat for the GA community against the rest of the CAA) then some 30 years time served ex airline jockey or pure ex military type or pure 30 years+ Civil Service type who may know lots of technical detail but is useless at navigating change and complexity which is actually what is required more these days in this brave new world of ours.

Anyway, as ever, happy and safe landings :)

Snorker
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By johnm
#1841967
Good point @Snorker. “Management person” might well have useful corporate skills if he/she can identify a trusted set of advisers who know the practical issues. The skills to identify such and build relationships with them are not trivial though.
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By Pete L
#1842101
The CAA improved noticeably under Andrew Haines who was exactly the sort of corporate businessman being described. He was astonishingly approachable compared to the regimes that had gone before.
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By Genghis the Engineer
#1842109
Pete L wrote:The CAA improved noticeably under Andrew Haines who was exactly the sort of corporate businessman being described. He was astonishingly approachable compared to the regimes that had gone before.


I doubt you'd find many people working in airworthiness approvals who'd agree with that assessment. Haines is the man who, for example, made the whole flight test department redundant.

G
By G-JWTP
#1842111
Genghis the Engineer wrote:
Pete L wrote:The CAA improved noticeably under Andrew Haines who was exactly the sort of corporate businessman being described. He was astonishingly approachable compared to the regimes that had gone before.


I doubt you'd find many people working in airworthiness approvals who'd agree with that assessment. Haines is the man who, for example, made the whole flight test department redundant.

G


Q. Were the CAA, at the time, just a agent of EASA, which would mean EASA took on all flight testing?

G-JWTP
#1842135
Not entirely, no. Partly as EASA hadn't fully built that skillset, partly as a lot of flight testing is in what at the time we called Annex 2, so not handled by EASA. Also CAA is responsible for the oversight of companies in the UK.

How do you audit the competent management of, say, BAES or Rolls' flight test activities if you don't employ anybody with a high level understanding of flight testing?

G
By PeteM
#1842175
I suspect that a root and branch assessment of an organisation like the CAA would result in large elements of it being made redundant.

That regrettably is the nature of organisations which are in a regulatory position. The normal ebb and flow of personnel rarely happens and you end up with personal skills which have atrophied and are no longer relevant. Equally you end up with a corporate culture which can be very risk adverse and inefficient. Add in personnel who spend more time in political in-fighting and utilising the rule making process to advance their own agenda and you have a situation where 'culture change' actually means wholesale personnel change.

Which is not to say that the CAA required such treatment, but I have certainly working in organisations where a clean sheet of paper would have been quicker, easier and cheaper - but of course politically unacceptable,

My direct knowledge of the CAA was pre-EASA and it certainly needed an axe then. Quite possibly the exodus to EASA helped.

But if the CAA's mission statement is "All aviation stakeholders will be supported by a regulator that delivers an effective and efficient approach to its work that is focused on what matters and is prepared to take difficult decisions where required. Our systems and processes will be fit for purpose and our people will have a blend of drive, experience and enquiry that combines expertise in their field with the ability to innovate and shape the future in concert with an ever-changing world. - then things like writing regulations or exemptions to regulations needs a serious looking at!

Equally structuring the organisation so that drones and GA reside in the same space is not a particularly positive omen.
By johnm
#1842177
Learning how to write a proper mission statement would be a start :roll:
Last edited by johnm on Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.