New safety regulations have been published for UK air shows following the Shoreham disaster.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has increased the minimum altitude at which ex-military jets can perform aerobatic manoeuvres, increased the minimum distance of separation between a civil display and a crowd, and strengthened the requirements for post-display reports in a bid to improve the quality of feedback on safety issues.
Earlier this year, the regulator announced other regulations such as enhanced risk assessments and tougher checks on the experience, skill and health of pilots.
John Turner, chairman of the British Air Display Association (BADA), said the measures will improve safety “in some circumstances” as long as they are clearly explained.
He said that as long as the intent behind the review is translated into effective, clear and concise guidance, then it will improve safety.
If there is any confusion left in the minds of people who are displaying or organising, he added, then it might not be as effective.
Cost to rise to cover changes
The CAA plans to increase its event charges to cover the cost of implementing the new safety measures, but the rise will be phased in over three years with 50% payable this year.
This year’s Shoreham air show has been cancelled out of respect for those affected by last year’s disaster, which occurred when a Hawker Hunter jet crashed on to the A27 in West Sussex on August 22.
Steps taken in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy – such as grounding all Hawker Hunter aircraft and banning ex-military jets from performing aerobatics over land – will remain in place until the conclusion of an air accident report into what caused the crash.
Source: Civil Aviation Authority
Date Published: April 29, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown