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CAP 1371 UK Civil Air Display Review: Actions that impact on UK civil air displays in 2016.

The CAA have published CAP 1371 Civil Air Display Review which details the actions that impact on civil air displays in 2016. 

CAP 1371 Introduction:

Up until the tragic accident at Shoreham last summer, the UK had an excellent record of protecting the public through safe air displays, and the approach used in the UK is emulated in many countries around the world.

The accident at Shoreham last summer was the first of its kind – no members of the public have lost their lives as a result of an air display in the UK since 1952, which made this accident all the more shocking.

The Shoreham accident remains the subject of ongoing Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) and Sussex Police investigations and so it is not appropriate to speculate on the cause.

However, the CAA took a number of immediate steps, which related to the aircraft type involved and other ex-military jet aircraft but also included identifying enhanced risk assessment criteria for all future air displays.

The CAA frequently reviews all aspects of aviation safety, including safety at air displays. Our publication Flying displays and special events: A guide to safety and administrative arrangements has been updated many times since it was first published in 1973. The publication was extensively updated and rewritten in 2015 before the display season started.

But it is of course absolutely right that the CAA should now identify any opportunities for further improvements to public safety and has therefore established a further review to evaluate the current guidance, processes and regulations relating to UK civil air displays.

The aim is to assess whether it is possible to minimise further the risks associated with civil air displays in the UK. Last year we said that we would publish the review’s final report early in 2016 and we still intend to do that. However, it has become apparent that there are a number of enhancements that the CAA, air show organisers, and others should carry out before the start of the 2016 air display season. Accordingly, the CAA is publishing this action report. It is based on the same three core themes as the progress report:

  • air display location,
  • air display aircraft, and
  • air display people

The actions detailed in this report will give all those involved in the coming air display season advance notice of our intentions as we seek to enhance the safety provisions for UK air displays.

The restrictions the CAA put in place after the accident at Shoreham will remain until the AAIB publish its final report into the accident, at which point the CAA will review them based on the AAIB’s recommendations.

The full terms of reference for the review are at Annex A of this report and full details of the review, including the governance structure, are on the CAA website here.

In October 2015 the CAA published a brief progress report on the review. That report set out the progress made and explained the next steps that the CAA would be taking. A copy of that report can also be found by following the web link above.

CAP 1371 Summary:

Under the Air Navigation Order 2009, the organisers of any flying display must obtain permission from the CAA. The CAA considers a number of issues before
granting such permission, including details of the location and safety arrangements, information about the proposed display itself and proof of the competence of the Flying Display Director (FDD) and of display pilots.

To increase the safety of the public and further mitigate risks identified in the review, the CAA is either introducing additional requirements or formalising existing requirements covering:

  • the planning documentation that must be submitted to the CAA as part of a request for permission;
  • the competence and attitudes of FDDs;
  • the experience, skill and health of display pilots;
  • the role of Display Authorisation Examiners (DAEs).

Unless otherwise stated, these changes will take effect in time for the 2016 display season.

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