CAA launches review into NATS technical failure

UK regulator to consider causes and prevention of reoccurrence

UK regulator the Civil Aviation Authority has launched an independent review into technical issue experienced by NATS at the end of August that led to thousands of flights being cancelled.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has appointed Jeff Halliwell to lead the review which will consider the causes, response, how the incident was managed and lessons for the future.

Jeff Halliwell has experience across both the business and public sector was previously chair of slot coordinator, Airport Coordination Limited, and the Heathrow Consumer Challenge Board, and recently completed a term as Chair of watchdog Transport Focus.

Jeff Halliwell will be supported by two panel members, who will determine the final report findings and make any recommendations. 

The review panel will engage with a wide range of stakeholders. Areas being covered by the review will include the causes of the incident and how to prevent repeat occurrences, how the incident was communicated to stakeholders, as well as NATS’ capability and resources to respond to such incidents.

It will also consider the airline and airport costs of providing care, assistance, and re-routeing to consumers, the impact of such issues on consumers and the overall performance of NATS.

Rob Bishton, joint-interim chief executive at the UK Civil Aviation Authority said, “The events of the 28 August bank holiday had a significant impact on many passengers. That’s why we’ve launched this independent review to understand what happened and learn lessons for the future.    

“We have appointed Jeff Halliwell, who will be supported by two further panel members, to bring a range of expertise to help determine and consider any recommendations to benefit both consumers and the wider aviation industry.”

Jeff Halliwell, chair of the independent review panel said, “This event had a significant impact on many passengers, businesses and the aviation industry and it is clear lessons need to be learnt. 

“I am looking forward to working with industry and passengers to tackle this review to understand how the incident occurred, how it was managed and identify any recommendations.”

More detailed information on the review can be found on the CAA website