ABOVE: New CEO Rob Bishton has worked at the CAA for almost a decade

The Civil Aviation Authority has appointed Rob Bishton as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective from 21 October 2023.

Bishton, who from April 2023 held the position of interim joint CEO (alongside colleague Paul Smith), has worked at the CAA since 2014. Previously working as Head of Flight Operations, he was appointed to the Board as Group Director of Safety and Airspace Regulation in November 2019 and has also helped ‘lead the organisation’s extensive preparations’ for Brexit.

“Having worked with Rob for a number of years, I am delighted he will be our new Chief Executive,” noted Sir Stephen Hillier, Chair of the UK CAA. “With safety and consumers at the heart of our mission, his deep understanding of the sector makes him very well prepared for the complex challenges and opportunities ahead”.

Bishton’s experience of the commercial aviation industry is extensive, having held the positions of Group Operations Director at Fastjet, Operations Director of Astraeus, and Head of Aircraft Operations and Head of Flight Operations at easyJet (where he also held the title of Chief Pilot). Alongside remaining a current commercial pilot with over 10,000 hours logged, Bishton is also an active GA aeroplane and helicopter pilot.

Noting the CAA’s need for “strong leadership to manage and regulate one of the most competitive and innovative aviation sectors in the world,” Transport Secretary Mark Harper added: “Rob has been been a valuable member of the Civil Aviation Authority since 2014 and has over 30 years of aviation experience. It is welcome news to see that work continues to help deliver greater consumer protections, regulate the sector and ensure future innovation is done safely and securely”.

The previous Chief Executive Officer, Richard Moriarty, stepped down from the role in Spring 2023 after working for the organization for more than ten years; the last five in the post of CEO.