Civil Aviation Authority appoints new boss amid air traffic control chaos review

UK's aviation regulator was widely criticised after technical glitch caused delays for hundreds of flights

The Civil Aviation Authority says it will investigate the cause of the air traffic chaos in August. PA
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A former pilot has been announced as the new chief executive of the UK’s aviation regulator, as it conducts a review into the August bank holiday air traffic control meltdown.

Rob Bishton will take up the leading role at the Civil Aviation Authority from October 21.

He joined the CAA in 2014 and previously spent time at easyJet as chief pilot and head of aircraft operations.

It comes as the regulator said it would consider “airline and airport costs” in its independent review of the events of August 28.

There was a major disruption to flights across UK airports after air traffic control services suffered a technical glitch.

The combined cost to airlines in providing refunds, re-bookings, hotel rooms and refreshments to affected passengers has been estimated at about £100 million by industry body the International Air Transport Association.

Former CAA chief executive Richard Moriarty stepped down earlier this year after five years in the role.

“I am delighted to be taking on the role of chief executive. The Civil Aviation Authority plays a vital role in shaping the future of aviation and aerospace,” Mr Bishton said.

“I am committed to working closely with our stakeholders to ensure that the industry remains safe, innovative and competitive.

“It is our commitment to deliver for consumers, who rightly expect the highest standards from our industry.

“Working alongside all of our dedicated people, our fantastic executive team and the board, I look forward to building on the Civil Aviation Authority’s legacy of excellence on both the domestic and global stages.”

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “It’s vital that the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority has strong leadership to manage and regulate one of the most competitive and innovative aviation sectors in the world, so it’s great to welcome Rob Bishton as the new chief executive officer.

“Rob has been a valuable member of the Civil Aviation Authority since 2014 and has over 30 years of aviation experience.

“It is welcome news to see that work continues to help deliver greater consumer protections, regulate the sector and ensure future innovation is done safely and securely.”

Updated: October 06, 2023, 6:43 PM