S8 (2) amends the functions of the Secretary of State in the Civil Aviation Act 1982 to include a "general duty of organising, carrying out and encouraging measures for safeguarding the health of persons on board aircraft".
S8 (3) amends the functions of the CAA to include the "health of persons on board aircraft".
S8 (4) requires the CAA to provide assistance to the Secretary of State in relation to the function.
The CAA established the Aviation Health Unit in 2003 as a centre of expertise on aviation health matters. It provides advice to the UK Government and other stakeholders; and suggests and oversees research on relevant aviation medical issues.
Separately, the CAA has specific health and safety regulatory responsibilities under the Civil Aviation (Working Time) Regulations 2004 for crew members (flight and cabin crew) of UK public transport aircraft. The Regulations require employers to ensure that each crew member is provided with adequate health and safety protection and prevention services or facilities appropriate to the nature of his employment.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is responsible for the enforcement of health and safety legislation in Great Britain and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA) applies within British air space. A memorandum of understanding exists between the CAA and the HSE to reduce regulatory duplication of effort. Similar arrangements exist for Northern Ireland.