New Head of CAA GA Unit

Pilot - - PILOT NOTES -

The CAA has ap­pointed Rachel Gard­ner-poole as the new Head of its Gen­eral Avi­a­tion Unit. She will take up the post later this year fol­low­ing the de­par­ture of cur­rent head Tony Rap­son, who has served in the role for more than five years.

Rachel is cur­rently Port­fo­lio Di­rec­tor at the CAA, hav­ing be­gun her ca­reer with the Author­ity in the GA Unit, in which she played a lead­ing part in im­ple­ment­ing changes fol­low­ing its launch in 2014. Her pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence in­cludes work­ing on counter-ter­ror­ism with the Home Of­fice and as a sci­en­tific re­searcher in the de­fence sec­tor, where she learned to fly. She also vol­un­teers for a fly­ing char­ity which de­liv­ers aid and emer­gency re­lief to re­mote lo­ca­tions.

Rachel said: “I’m re­ally look­ing forward to work­ing with the ded­i­cated and pro­fes­sional col­leagues in the GA Unit. I’ve been pas­sion­ate about avi­a­tion for many years and my first rôle here was as the GA Pro­gramme Man­ager, where I used my fly­ing knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence to im­ple­ment pos­i­tive changes. I’m de­lighted to be re­turn­ing to the unit in May to build on the ex­cel­lent work of Tony Rap­son and the team.”

“Rachel is the right can­di­date for this role,” added Mark Swan, Group Di­rec­tor Safety & Airspace Reg­u­la­tion. “Her abil­ity to de­liver com­plex projects, com­bined with her strong lead­er­ship skills and wide-rang­ing avi­a­tion ex­pe­ri­ence, made her the ob­vi­ous choice. Many in the GA com­mu­nity will al­ready know Rachel and I am sure they will wel­come her ap­point­ment.

“Tony Rap­son has done an in­cred­i­ble job lead­ing the Unit since its in­cep­tion in 2014, and has de­liv­ered sig­nif­i­cant improvemen­ts for the GA sec­tor. We thank him for his hard work and ded­i­ca­tion to date and look forward to con­tin­u­ing to ben­e­fit from his ex­pe­ri­ence in the com­ing months, ahead of this change.”

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