CAA says it needs more time to get ‘complex’ ATOL reform right

CAA ATOL reform
By Lisa James
Home » CAA says it needs more time to get ‘complex’ ATOL reform right

The Civil Aviation Authority did not consult on final proposals of ATOL reform at the end of last year as planned, saying the work is complex and it needs ‘more time to get it right’.

Consultation on ATOL reform began in 2021 and, in January 2023, the CAA said it planned to have a new system in place in April 2024, with CAA Head of ATOL Michael Budge saying: “We recognise that 1 April 2024 is a start date and there will be a transition period.”

The plan had been to consult on final proposals to reform at the end of last year.

However, the CAA said responses revealed ‘contrasting views on ATOL reform, with many saying a one-size-fits-all approach would not work well. In April 2023, ABTA criticised the CAA’s ‘lack of clarity on the rationale for reform’.

In an update this week, the CAA said: “The CAA and the Department for Transport (DfT) have been considering the evidence received from stakeholders and are working jointly towards determining a preferred outcome.

“In doing so, we are assessing the impacts of the different types of risks posed by ATOL holders, and the impacts that the different options could have across the sector.

“This work is complex and has taken longer than initially expected, and we will need more time to ensure we get it right.

“Therefore we were not able to consult on final proposals at the end of 2023 as originally planned, although the expectation remains that the next consultation will be a joint one between the DfT and the CAA.”

The CAA said it can’t make any clear commitments on timings for the next steps of reform.

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