UK Civil Aviation Authority names new head of general aviation

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The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has appointed Rachel Gardner-Poole as the new head of its general aviation unit.

Gardner-Poole will take up the post later this year following the departure of current head, Tony Rapson, who was in the role for over five years.

The new recruit brings a wealth of aviation experience to the role and is currently portfolio director at the Civil Aviation Authority. She began working for the CAA in the general aviation unit following its launch in 2014.

Gardner-Poole’s previous experience includes working on counter-terrorism with the Home Office and as a scientific researcher in the defense sector, where she learned to fly. She also volunteers for a flying charity which delivers aid and emergency relief to remote locations.

Mark Swan, group director of safety and airspace regulation, said, “We are delighted to make this announcement. Rachel is the right candidate for this role. 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 general aviation community will already know Rachel and I am sure they will welcome her appointment.

“Tony Rapson has done an incredible job leading the general aviation unit since its inception in 2014, and has delivered significant improvements for the general aviation 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.”

Commenting on her appoint, Gardner-Poole said, “I’m really looking forward to working with the dedicated and professional colleagues in the general aviation unit. I’ve been passionate about aviation for many years and my first role here was as the general aviation program 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.”

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Kirstie worked full-time on Business Airport International for over two years and is now a freelance journalist. Away from her writing commitments, you will find her blogging on her lifestyle website or training for her next charity run.

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