The CAA will be merging then activities of its its Safety Regulation Group and Department of Airspace Policy.

The changes will come into effect as of 1 July 2013, and the new department will be headed up by Mark Swan – currently the CAA’s Director of Airspace Policy.

The announcement comes after Safety Director Gretchen Haskins’ decision not to seek a reappointment to the CAA Board when her current fixed term expires.

CAA Chief Executive, Andrew Haines, said: “Merging the functions of our airspace policy and safety departments has been a possibility that has been considered for a number of years, not least in the 2008 review of the CAA undertaken by Sir Joseph Pilling. In the light of Gretchen’s decision not to seek reappointment to the Board, now seemed like the right time to make that change. There are real safety benefits from consolidating our safety and airspace management activities in one place.

“It has been an absolute privilege to work with Gretchen over the past three years. Her understanding of and commitment to aviation safety is exceptional and she has made an enormous contribution to the CAA.

“Mark Swan brings huge strengths to his new role. His leadership of our airspace work has won him considerable respect both within the UK and internationally and he spent many years as a pilot during his service in the RAF.”

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