• Aviation Futures is the UK’s first regulatory think tank.  

    It exists to bring insight, ideas and approaches from outside of aviation to bear on some of the toughest challenges and questions facing the sector – and the CAA. 

    It is composed of a panel of external experts and CAA colleagues, who work together to interrogate, explore and develop potential solutions to these issues.  

    The aviation industry’s position at the forefront of technological innovation, its highly international nature and its importance to the world economy, mean that regulating it presents many complex challenges and trade-offs.   

    From the integration of drones and flying taxis into UK airspace, to considering how big data and AI will affect the market for air fares, to environmental issues and public perceptions of new technologies, the CAA deals with far reaching, complex policy problems across many areas of its work.  

    Aviation Futures exists to provide fresh thinking and insight on these topics, helping us to bring knowledge, ideas and approaches from outside of the aviation sector to bear on challenges faced by the CAA. The outcomes from Aviation Futures discussions form a key part of the evidence put to the CAA board on difficult topics as well as providing invaluable insights into the development of the CAA’s new Innovation Hub. 

    Aviation Futures’ external panel includes leading experts from areas such a law, communications, finance and the third sector – as well as a former minister and a Nobel prize winner. This diversity of backgrounds and perspectives is crucial in enabling the CAA to approach policy problems in new and interesting ways and to avoid group-think.  

    How we work 

    Aviation Futures meets on a quarterly basis to discuss a different topic, framed around a specific future challenge for the aviation industry or the Civil Aviation Authority. The ideas, observations and conclusions from these discussions are then recorded, distilled and built upon, before being presented to CAA’s board to inform their decision-making processes and innovation priorities. 

    The agenda for Aviation Futures meetings is set in collaboration with external panel members, ensuring that the group’s focus, as well as its conclusions, is determined by a diverse group of perspectives.   

    In this manner, Aviation Futures helps to ensure that high-level decision making and future focus on areas of innovation at the CAA takes a wide array of perspectives, approaches and information into account.  

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