Sir-Bob Crowe (Letters, Flight International, 10-16 September) puts forward a very reasonable case for the lessening of the authoritarian stance of the UK Civil Aviation Authority when it comes down to rule-making and the stand it takes on such items as single-engined commercial freighters and other matters.

The proposal to change the Air Navigation Order without proper and meaningful consultation with the UK civil-aviation industry sets an unacceptable precedent.

The European authorities could learn a lot from the US Federal Aviation Administration Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) procedures which allow interested parties, including the public, to put forward their points of view. Using such a procedure gives real meaning to the term "UK industry being very supportive of the proposed amendment".

In the context of the CAA Safety Regulation Group proposal, such a statement might mean a discussion during a round of golf or over a drink in the bar - we have no means of knowing.

There is a similar proposal on the table at the Joint Maintenance Board of the Joint Airworthiness Requirements in the Netherlands. The authorities do not want any industrial input to their discussion. Industry will attempt to thwart such a scheme: one wonders what chance they have.

Everything is authority-driven, to the possible detriment of the industry throughout the Joint Aviation Authorities envelope. What do the authorities have to fear from democratic discussions? The FAA does not appear to worry about democratic processes when dealing with its industry.


Dunstable, Bedfordshire, UK

Source: Flight International