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Description of the role and responsibilities of Aerodrome Standards

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The Role of the Aerodrome Standards Department

The Air Navigation Order (ANO) 2009 requires that, in the UK, flights for the public transport of passengers, or specified flights for the purpose of flying instruction, take place at a licensed aerodrome or a government aerodrome.

Note: Government aerodromes are usually military establishments and  the CAA does not currently manage these aerodromes.

The primary role of the Aerodrome Standards Department is to licence all those aerodromes required under Articles 207, 208, 209 and 211 of the ANO.  Aerodrome Standards oversees the safety of aviation activities at licensed aerodromes in the UK through the licensing process, as detailed in CAP 168 (Licensing of Aerodromes). All aspects of the aerodrome and its management which have an impact on aeronautical safety are considered.

The requirements laid out in CAP 168 reflect the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) of Annex 14 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation in so far as these have been adopted by the UK. They form the basis for an assessment of the potential suitability of the aerodrome to be licensed, taking into account the scale and scope of the flying activity which is to take place there.

CAP 168 gives guidance to applicants and licensees on the procedure for the issue and continuation of, or variation to, an aerodrome licence, and to indicate the licensing requirements that are used for assessing a variation or an application.

The Aerodrome Standards Department works with licensed aerodromes to assist them in establishing suitable systems for managing and operating the aerodrome and to ensure that the physical conditions of the manoeuvring area, apron and in the environs of the aerodrome remain acceptable and adequate for the flying activities which are expected to take place. It also works in close collaboration with both International and European groups to ensure the development of harmonised certification requirements.


CAA – HSE Interface

There is a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the CAA.