Examination of Witnesses

Part of Civil Aviation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:28 pm on 23rd February 2012.

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Jim McAuslan: The CAA’s responsibility is to ensure that British airlines provide air transport services that satisfy all substantial categories of demand at the lowest possible cost, with a high degree of safety and ensuring efficient delivery of business. But you have to look at the meaning of those words and how “lowest cost” and “high standard of safety” tie together. When people are making decisions, what gives? This is the theme we have developed in our paper about the culture within the industry at present. Who is paying? Who will call the tune? Where will those decisions be taken? That is our concern and why we think there should be a focus, perhaps by splitting the regulator or, as has been suggested elsewhere in the context of economic efficiency, by having the NAO audit the CAA. Perhaps the Health and Safety Executive should monitor and audit the safety standards of the industry.