CAA Surveillance

Criteria for Decision Making

Without fettering the Director’s discretion in any particular case, CAA decision makers are to apply the following criteria:

  1. There should be a transparent bias on the side of safety.
  2. There should be a transparent bias on the side of the public interest when balancing the interests of a document holder against those of the public.
  3. The size and financial position of an individual document holder are not relevant considerations when making judgements on their ability to implement required risk control measures or conduct their activities or functions safely and in accordance with the relevant prescribed safety standards and practices.
  4. Any decision on which action to take, or whether to take action at all, will normally include consideration of the following factors:
  • Whether an unacceptable safety risk remains that must be mitigated;
  • The compliance history of the document holder;
  • Any need for deterrence in relation to the non-compliance;
  • Whether a non-compliance has given rise to unnecessary danger to persons or property;
  • Whether any non-compliance was flagrant (even if it did not give rise to danger or damage);
  • Factors involving the public interest and safety are present, such as the use of aircraft on an air transport operation;
  • Whether the document holder has heeded previous warnings or actions;
  • Any need for special deterrent action in a particular regulatory area or aviation sector;
  • Whether corrective action has already been initiated and compliance has been achieved or satisfactory progress towards compliance is being made; and
  • The document holder’s attitude to safety.
Any decision on which action to take, or whether to take action at all, must not be influenced by:
  • The race, ethnic or national origins, sex, marital status or religious, ethical or political beliefs of the document holder;
  • The views of CAA officials concerning the document holder on matters other than their competence or suitability to perform the privileges of the document held or applied for:
  • Possible political advantage or disadvantage to the Government or any political organisation;
  • The possible effect on the personal or professional reputation or prospects of the CAA or those officials, including the Director, responsible for the decision.

The Director’s prime interest is in ensuring an acceptable level of safety. Thus, any action taken must focus on that consideration and must be proportionate to the non-compliance or safety risk involved. For example, in the absence of other relevant factors, revocation of a document for a minor, isolated non-compliance would not normally be appropriate. Conversely, neither would continued efforts to seek voluntary compliance through the raising of finding notices in the face of on-going significant non-compliance.

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