Keith Richards appointed CAA Consumer Panel Chair
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today announced the appointment of Keith Richards as the first Chair of the CAA Consumer Panel. The Panel will give the CAA a sharper focus on how its regulatory activity affects passengers and on how it can best support the aviation industry to deliver greater choice and value.
Keith Richards (above) is a barrister who has previously worked for ABTA - The Travel Association - as their Head of Consumer Affairs, and as a campaigns lawyer for Which?. After leaving ABTA in 2010 he has acted as a mediator and member of ABTA’s Travel Disputes Arbitration Panel. In addition, he has served for many years as an independent member of global regulatory bodies in other sectors, including architecture and surveying.
Keith Richards said: “Air travellers in the UK benefit from a diverse and competitive aviation industry that clearly offers a good range of choice across different price levels, but anyone who reads the papers every day knows there is room to improve life for the flying public. In this role, I will be able to draw on my experience in the travel industry, as a consumer advocate, and of global regulation in other sectors, to closely scrutinise the CAA in its work as well as to support and encourage it, with the aim of ensuring that it places the interests of the travelling public right at the heart of everything it does.”
Dame Deirdre Hutton, CAA Chair, said: “As a regulator we must ensure that everything we do has the consumer in mind, as our central duty is to protect them. The Consumer Panel under Keith’s leadership, will play an important role to check and challenge, and ensure that we are ambitious in our efforts to improve choice and value for air passengers.”
The Consumer Panel has been set up to act as a critical friend to the CAA, providing oversight and advice on the CAA’s regulatory approach. Now that Keith Richards is in place as the Chair of the panel, he will be working with the CAA in shaping its role, and composition, with the aim of having it up and running this summer.