UK announces creation of international aviation forum

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The UK and global aviation representatives have launched a collaborative international aviation network, named the National Aviation Authorities (NAA), to tackle the sector’s biggest challenges.

The NAA network currently includes the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA. Its stated mission is to foster cooperation between aviation regulators on emerging challenges in aviation and aerospace, improving innovation, sustainability and safety. The challenges the group has set out to resolve include making the most of new technology, such as safely integrating new forms of transport like air taxis into busy airspace systems, and supporting the sector’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and promote guilt-free flying.

The UK and its international partners intend to use the NAA network to respond quickly and flexibly to new issues and influence new regulations, finding ways to align approaches to address common challenges. This group complements the various coordination mechanisms under the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and remains committed to working within ICAO to support the global aviation system. For example, NAA network regulators have already been cooperating on future safety practices for external shocks, meaning the sector should be better prepared to sustain operations in the event of a future shock on the scale of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Grant Shapps, the UK Transport Secretary, said, “The aviation industry has shown immense resilience these past two years, with governments and authorities around the world working together with the sector on new challenges like slashing carbon emissions and making new technology as safe as it can be. The NAA network is a huge step forward in supporting this work – helping the sector safely meet the challenges of tomorrow and improve lives for the better.”

Sir Stephen Hillier, chair of both the UK Civil Aviation Authority and the National Aviation Authority Network Governance group, said, “This is both an exciting and a challenging time for the global aviation sector, and regulators must move quickly to build greater resilience, keep pace with rapid innovation and work together to reduce carbon emissions. The NAA network helps us strengthen collaborative approaches to common challenges and to share best practices and regulatory approaches. We’re already doing timely and important work together within the network and I very much look forward to continuing to work closely with my colleagues in Australia, Canada, the US and New Zealand to help advance global aviation.”

Billy Nolen, acting US Federal Aviation Administration administrator, said, “We can only achieve the next era of aviation by working collaboratively with our international partners. This network will help us with new aviation challenges, like bringing air taxis safely into operation and building a sustainable aviation system, and the FAA looks forward to working together.”

To read more about the UK government’s recent aviation initiatives, click here.

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