The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced new measures to ensure safety at UK civil air shows following its Action Report. The issue of air show safety was, of course, highlighted after the tragedy at Shoreham last year.
Safety measures were put in place by the CAA immediately following the plane crash in Shoreham that resulted in fatal injuries to 11 members of the public. The new measures are set out in the CAA's “Action Report” after a review looking at all aspects of safety. The measures look at the permissions required for a display, training requirements of those responsible for a display, and the experience, skill and health of display pilots.
Tony Rapson, Head of General Aviation at the CAA said: “After the tragic accident at Shoreham air show last summer, we began a thorough review examining every aspect of civil air display safety. Today we're announcing a series of measures that will enhance the safety of UK air shows. Alongside these measures, the restrictions we introduced immediately after the Shoreham accident remain in place.
“In 2016, no air show will go ahead without being subject to an enhanced risk assessment, and having to comply with tighter requirements for training, oversight and notification.”
Hawker Hunter aircraft, grounded immediately after the Shoreham disaster, will remain unable to partake in displays and all 2016 air shows will remain subject to enhanced risk assessments and tighter requirements.
Air shows are a popular part of the summertime in the UK, there are a number of popular air shows with a lengthy safety history, such as Duxford, the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, Blackpool and Southport. Hopefully our longstanding tradition of summers picnicking in awe, watching the displays in the air, can continue in safety.
Joanne Berry is a senior travel litigation solicitor at Slater and Gordon in Manchester.
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