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The Board and Staff of the Civil Aviation Authority

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CAA Board

Dame Deirdre Hutton (Chair)


Dame Deirdre Hutton was appointed to the CAA Board as a Non-Executive Board Member in April 2009 and took up the position of Chair of the CAA in August 2009. Dame Deirdre was previously Chair of the Food Standards Agency, Honorary Vice-President of the Institute of Food Science and Technology, Honorary Vice-President of the Trading Standards Institute, and serves as a Non-Executive member of the HM Treasury Board. She has been Vice-Chair of the European Food Safety Authority Management Board, Deputy Chair of the Financial Services Authority, Chair of the National Consumer Council, Chair of the Scottish Consumer Council, and a member of the Better Regulation Task Force. She has also held a number of positions on a variety of bodies dealing with food issues.

Read the letter from the Secretary of State for Transport to Dame Deirdre stating the CAA's priorities

Andrew Haines

The then Secretary of State for Transport, Andrew Adonis, appointed Andrew Haines as the Chief Executive of the Civil Aviation Authority in July 2009 after an open competition.  Mr Haines is the first holder of this newly-created post, following the recommendations put forward by Sir Joseph Pilling in 2008. He officially took up the position in August 2009.

He  joined the CAA after a wide-ranging career in the rail industry. After four years in charge of South West Trains, he took over the rail division of First Group. Most recently, he also took on responsibility for improving the performance of the First Great Western franchise

Gretchen Burrett

Gretchen was appointed Group Director Safety Regulation in April 2010. Prior to joining the CAA, Gretchen was the Director of Safety at NATS, where she championed and gave focus to those activities that provide front line operational safety benefit.  She also worked to increase partnership within the global aviation safety community and was chair of the CANSO Safety Steering Group. 

Previously, she worked in nuclear certification and safety of intercontinental ballistic missiles, joint airworthiness trials for military aircraft, design and development of systems, and as an expert advisor to NATO on human performance and safety critical systems.

Gretchen has a strong aviation background, having served in the US Air Force, flown jet and piston aircraft, and led a multi-national team of test pilots and aircraft designers through the development and execution of a new approach to operational performance and safety certification.

Mark Swan

Mark Swan was appointed as Board Member and Director Airspace Policy in March 2009. Previously held numerous appointments in the Royal Air Force since joining as a pilot in 1979, Formerly Director Operational Capability, Ministry of Defence, 2006 – 08.  IoD accredited Chartered Director.

Chris Jesnick

 Photograph of Chris Jesnick

Chris Jesnick is the Finance & Corporate Services Director. A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Miss Jesnick has worked for the CAA since 1996 with previous career being in a variety of financial roles in the private sector.


Iain Osborne

Iain Osborne was took up his post as Group Director Regulatory Policy in January 2011, replacing Dr Harry Bush's position of Group Director, Economic Regulation. The Group he leads brings together the CAA’s previously separate work on economic regulation and consumer policy, responding to Government proposals for legislation to place the passenger interest at the heart of economic regulation. Mr Osborne has previously held senior roles within the telecoms industry, OFGEM and at the European Commission. His immediate previous role was as CEO of the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation.

Richard Jackson

Photograph of Richard Jackson

Richard Jackson was appointed as Board member and Group Director, Consumer Protection in October 2004. Trustee of the Air Travel Trust. Formerly Head of Investment Banking at Daiwa SBCM Europe.

Michael Medlicott

Michael Medlicott was appointed to the Board as a Non-Executive Member in February 2010. He has many years' experience of the transport and tourism sectors, including a senior management position at Delta Airlines and Chief Executive of the British Tourist Authority. He sat on the Board of Manchester Airports Group from 2002 until joining the Board of the CAA. He holds one current ministerial appointment as a non-executive director of National Savings and Investment.

Captain Roger Whitefield

 Photograph of Captain Roger Whitefield

Captain Roger Whitefield was appointed to the Board as a Non-Executive Member in April 2005. His last management position in British Airways was Head of Corporate Safety and Quality. He will continue in his position as Safety Advisor to the Qantas Airways Board.

Dr Catherine Bell 

 Photograph of Catherine Bell

Dr Catherine Bell was appointed to the Board as a Non-Executive Board Member in April 2006.  She is Chair of the Remuneration Committee and a member of the Audit Committee. She was formerly Acting Permanent Secretary at the Department of Trade and Industry. She serves as a Non-Executive Director of United Utilities Group Plc and Ensus Ltd. She is also a Governor of the London School of Economics and Chair of the Investment Committee of the Civil Service Benevolent Fund.

Roger Mountford

 Photograph of Roger Mountford

Roger Mountford was appointed to the Board as a Non-Executive Board Member in April 2003. He currently also serves as Chairman of the trustees of the CAA Pension Scheme, Chairman of the Authority's Audit Committee and Chairman and Trustee of the Air Travel Trust. Formerly a merchant banker in London and Hong Kong for nearly 30 years, advising many companies in the transportation sector. He is also a non-executive director of Thames Valley Housing Association and the Port of Dover, serving also as a trustee of its pension scheme.

David Gray


David Gray was appointed as a Non-Executive Member of the Board in November 2009.  From 2003 – 2007 he was a member of the Gas & Electricity Markets Authority and Managing Director, Networks of its executive arm, Ofgem.  He is a non-executive director of Pitkin Petroleum, an oil exploration company operating in South East Asia and South America, a member of the Council of Management of the Regulatory Policy Institute, and a governor of Central School of Ballet.

Air Vice-Marshall Barry North

 AVM Barry North

AVM North was appointed as a Non-Executive Member of the Board in March 2010. As Assistant Chief of the Air Staff, AVM North is a member of the Air Force Board and Head of the Service’s Operations Support Branch.  His primary responsibilities range across the development of the Royal Air Force’s strategy, including leading the MoD’s Through Life Capability Management process for aircraft and leading the Service’s engagement in annual financial planning rounds.  He is the Release to Service Authority for all Royal Air Force aircraft and is Chairman of the MoD’s Military Aviation Regulation and Safety Board.

Kate Staples

 Kate Staples

Kate Staples joined the CAA as Secretary and Legal Adviser on 1 September 2010. Prior to joining the CAA she was a member of the Government Legal Service, working as a member of the legal team at the Department for Transport, where she advised on aviation law and lead the aviation legal team (2003 to 2009) and railways infrastructure law (2009 to 2010).  Before joining the Government Legal Service Kate practised at Nabarro Nathanson and CMS Cameron McKenna.

CAA Group Staff

The CAA employs around 1,000 staff.  Of this number, 800 work within the Safety Regulation Group at Gatwick.  The remainder work mainly at CAA House in Holborn, central London (within the Economic Regulation Group, the Consumer Protection Group and the Directorate of Airspace Policy), with a few based at regional offices within the UK and overseas offices. CAA also has a Corporate Centre based at CAA House which includes the Chairman’s Office and the CAA Board and corporate functions.