UK aviation links + CHIRP & GASCo

the online flight safety digest

Text Box: uk links, chirp & gasco

UK Government, Quasi-autonomous & Autonomous Organisations


Gremline publishes links to other sites in good faith, but cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of contents or the views expressed. We have no control over the availability of linked sites. If you would like to submit your site for inclusion on our links pages, please e-mail us on The editors will review all submitted sites, and their decision as to whether a link is appropriate for Gremline will be final. No criticism of unsuccessful submissions is implied, and no correspondence will be entered into.



Aeronautical Information Service

Operated by National Air Traffic Services. The site contains pre-flight self briefing forms and guidance, and an electronic version of the Flight Plan Form. Some areas of the site were still under construction at the time of this review.


Air Accidents Investigation Branch

AAIB is part of the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions and investigates aircraft accidents and serious incidents in the UK. The site includes Formal Reports, monthly bulletins, details of procedures for reporting accidents and incidents,† and Civil Aviation Regulations.


British Airways Safety Information System

Site dedicated to the BASIS Safety Information System, developed by British Airways and now used by more than 100 carriers and organisations worldwide. Of interest to general aviators in that ‘The BASIS Story’ section of the site tracks the development of thinking on flight safety since the Second World War, and especially since 1989. Important steps were the realisation that ’near miss’ reporting was probably more important than actual incident reporting to the safety learning curve; and that human, as well as technical, factors should be given due consideration in developing a culture of safety.



British Helicopter Advisory Board

Represents the interests of the civil helicopter sector in the UK, and in Europe through membership of the European Helicopter Association. BHAB promotes the role of helicopters for commercial, industrial, public transport and community use. The site contains technical information and guidelines, together with information on statutory operating standards, legislation and training.


CAA Safety Regulation Group

Responsible for setting civil aviation standards. The Civil Aviation Authority Safety Regulation Group has wide-ranging oversight duties covering the design, manufacture, operation and maintenance of aircraft; training, medical standards and licensing of flight crew; air traffic control services and aerodrome licensing; and consultation and liaison with national and international organisations.

CAA Safety Sense Leaflets. From time to time our articles refer to or link to relevant safety information published by the UK Civil Aviation Authority Safety Group. This link will take you directly to the full list of CAA Safety Sense Leaflets and Posters, all of which can be downloaded free of charge. Taken as a whole, these CAA publications are a comprehensive and invaluable resource for GA pilots.



The Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting Programme. Provides a totally independent and confidential reporting system for individuals employed in or associated with the UK commercial and General Aviation industries. The objective is to identify actual or potential accidents or incidents where human factors are a primary consideration. For more information on the work of CHIRP, see bottom of this page.


Civil Aviation Authority

The CAA is the principle independent specialist aviation regulator. Responsibilities include Personnel Licensing, with the exception of non-professional glider flying, which is regulated under arrangements made by the British Gliding Association.



General Aviation Awareness Council

The Council was founded to try to ensure that General Aviation activity in the UK remains healthy and expanding. GAAC objectives are to explain the nature of the GA Industry, promote its purpose and value, protect facilities and free airspace and ensure the future of all General Aviation sectors. The site contains a range of information, including education, aerodrome planning and environmental advice.


General Aviation Safety Council
GASCo is a charitable organisation with the aim of fostering the development of General Aviation in the UK along safe lines. Council membership includes representative bodies of all the significant GA activities in the UK. GASCo is the publisher of
Flight Safety magazine and On Track, the GA Airspace Infringements web site. For more information on the work of GASCo, see bottom of this page.


Health & Safety Executive

HSE is the government agency responsible for regulating all aspects of risk in the workplace and work situations. The site publishes studies, reports, statistics and news releases. Primary access to information is via a search facility.


Helicopter Safety

New (2008) independent site published by a trio of helicopter pilots and dedicated to reducing the number of GA helicopter accidents. The publishers are assembling helicopter safety information and organising helicopter safety promotion evenings around the UK.


The Met Office

An invaluable site for aviators, giving UK and international weather forecasts, general information on weather and climate, and much more. The Met Office maintains an Aviation section under contract to the Civil Aviation Authority. Subject areas include UK national and international briefing services, aviation meteorology training, and information on SADIS, the SAtellite DIStribution system developed and operated by the Met Office on behalf of the International Civil Aviation Organisation. Amongst other services to aviation, the Met Office provides guidance and information to NATS (National Air Traffic Services), including observer training for air traffic control centre staff and support to air accident investigations.



Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety

PACTS is an associate Parliamentary Group with the objective of promoting air, road, rail and marine safety legislation to protect human life. The site contains documents on current policy issues, information on long-term research projects, accident statistics, news items and PACTS briefing and articles.


RAF Inspectorate of Flight Safety

The Inspectorate of Flight Safety (RAF) was disbanded on 31st March 2002 and was replaced by the Defence Aviation Safety Centre (DASC). DASC is a tri-service executive arm of the Ministry of Defence Aviation Regulatory and Safety Board and is the MoD focus for Defence Aviation Safety issues.


Royal Aeronautical Society

The Royal Aeronautical Society is “the one multidisciplinary professional institution dedicated to the global aerospace community”. The Society has 20 Specialist Interest Group Committees and a Professional Standards Board which aims to establish, maintain, develop and recognise standards and membership grades in every aerospace sector. The site’s News page includes a section on General Aviation. The restricted Members Area of the site has not been reviewed.


The United Kingdom Flight Safety Committee

UKFSC is an independent committee made up of airlines, regulators, unions and experts from most industry disciplines, and operates under conditions of confidentiality so that flight safety issues can be discussed in the frankest possible manner. The site contains a diary of events, including Flight Safety Officer familiarisation courses. The Library section offers a wide range of videos, publications and CD-ROMs. The restricted Privileged Info section of the site has not been reviewed.


The National Private Pilots Licence

Site dedicated to the new National Private Pilots Licence, obtainable from 20th July 2002. Many of the sites listed in our UK Sports Governing Bodies and Organisations section also carry information on the NPPL in the context of their own specialist sectors.




UK Sports Governing Bodies & Organisations



Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association

Represents the views of pilots and aircraft owners and is a member of the International Council of Aircraft Owners and Pilots which has a total membership of 400,000 in 50 countries. The web site includes regular updates on the legislative environment and issues affecting General Aviation.


The Air League

The Air League was founded in 1909 to promote the cause of British aviation, including defence, air transport, the aerospace industry and General Aviation. The League was the prime instigator of the Air Training Corps. The Air League Educational Trust is a registered charity offering education and training scholarships and burseries to young people. The Air League also supports the work of The Associate Parliamentary Aerospace Group (APAG), which represents the three main parties in the Houses of Parliament and brings politicians and the aviation sector together for discussion of topical aerospace issues. The web site covers the full range of activities, and there is a free e-mail service for notification of events, lectures, etc.


British Aerobatic Association

BAeA is the national governing body responsible to the Royal Aero Club of great Britain for organising powered and glider competitions within the UK. The association also runs aerobatic training camps and judging seminars. The site contains event and results listings, information on the structure of contests and the various levels of entry, together with competition safety guidelines.† Also includes archive photos and much more.


British Balloon and† Airship Club

BBAC exists to promote hot air ballooning, gas ballooning and airship flying. The site contains information on training, licensing, legislative, and behavioural and safety guidelines in the form of a Code of Conduct. The restricted Members Area of the site has not been reviewed.


British Gliding Association

Comprehensive site carrying information on the sport, instruction, clubs and competitions. There is also a section on the National Private Pilots Licence (and see


British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Comprehensive site covering unpowered and powered hang gliding, paragliding, parascending and paramotors. The BHPA oversees pilot and instructor training standards, runs coaching courses and provides technical support on airworthiness standards, etc.



British Medical Pilots Association

Membership open to doctors, dentists, veterinarians and nurses who have held a flying licence of any type. The site contains general information together with information on events and meetings and a Latest News section.


British Parachute Association

The BPA organises, governs and furthers the advancement of Sport Parachuting in the UK, has 35 affiliated Clubs and around 35,000 members.† The site contains guidelines on entry into the sport and progress through the hierarchy of qualifications, together with information on Drop Zones, events and competitions.


British Women Pilots’ Association

BWPA members are drawn from all areas of aviation, and include student pilots, recreational flyers, commercial pilots, military pilots and flying instructors.† The Association has a primary aim of encouraging women to fly and providing a voice for the opinions of women in aviation. The site contains legislative and aviation information, information on events, group visits, flying weekends, training courses and career guidance.


Flying Farmers Association

Membership open to farmers, foresters or landowners who own aircraft, operate airstrips or have an interest in aviation. The Association organises visits, meetings and study tours within the UK and abroad, and a stated objective is to provide advice and technical assistance to members wishing to establish their own landing strips.


Guild of Air Pilots and Navigators

GAPAN is a City Livery Company with membership drawn from military and civil professional licence holders and private licence holders in every area of General Aviation, sporting and private aviation. The Guild fosters the sound education and training of pilots and navigators and seeks to maintain the highest standards of air safety.



Helicopter Club of Great Britain

Promotes safe and considerate flying, represents the interest of club members on various committees and organises events throughout the year, including the British Helicopter Championships. The restricted Members Area of the site has not been reviewed.


Lawyers Flying Association

LFA is open to those working in the legal profession who share an enthusiasm for aviation in general and private flying in particular. The public area of the site contains background information and forthcoming events. The restricted Members Area of the site has not been reviewed.


The Light Aircraft Association

Formerly The Popular Flying Association. The LAA is the UK’s representative body for amateur aircraft construction, and recreational and sport flying.† Includes information on the National Private Pilots Licence (and see


The Popular Flying Association

See The Light Aircraft Association above.


UK Guild of Air Traffic Control Officers

Professional body representing Air Traffic Control Officers, concerned with ensuring proper training, qualifications and licensing, and offering professional and technical advice to a wide range of organisations.


The Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting Programme [CHIRP]

Incident reporting programmes have proved to be valuable tools in the identification of safety related issues and the definition of corrective actions.† In the specific case of incidents involving human error, the availability of an independent, voluntary, confidential reporting medium has provided valuable additional information to that available through formal or mandatory reporting systems.


The CHIRP Charitable Trust

The UK Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting Programme, more commonly known by the acronym CHIRP, has been operating since 1982 and is a totally independent organisation, with management and fiscal responsibilities held by an independent Board of Trustees, thus enabling it to make an effective contribution to the resolution of important safety related issues in the UK.The Programme is funded by the UK Civil Aviation Authority, which in turn is funded by industry, and currently consists of four sections:


Air Transport (commercial pilots, licensed ATCOs and engineers)

Cabin Crew

General Aviation

Maritime (funded by the Department for Transport)


Each section of the Programme has its own Advisory Board, the role of which is to provide counsel on the most appropriate way in which specific issues might be resolved and to advise the Trustees on the performance of the Programme.† Information is provided to the Advisory Boards on a confidential basis and all means of identifying the individual reporter are removed from reports prior to any discussion. CHIRP employs a permanent staff of five, including a full-time Chief Executive, Mr Peter Tait and is located on the QinetiQ Site at Farnborough.


The Programme

CHIRP currently receives confidential incident reports from commercial licensed pilots, air traffic controllers, licensed engineers, approved maintenance organisations, design and production organisations, cabin crewmembers and all GA communities within the UK.
††††† Upon receipt, reports are validated as far as possible and reviewed with the objective of making the information as widely available as possible, whilst maintaining the confidentiality of the source.† Anonymous reports are not normally acted upon, as they cannot be validated.† When appropriate, report information is discussed with relevant agencies with the aim of finding a resolution.† Only depersonalised data is used and the confidentiality of the reporter is assured in discussions with third party organisations.
††††† After ensuring that the report contains all relevant information, all personal details are returned to the reporter, after which, CHIRP is unable to contact the reporter.† The reporter, however, may contact the CHIRP office with additional information, using the unique reference number allocated.
††††† Depersonalised data are recorded in a secure database at Farnborough for analysis of key topics and trends.† Disidentified data are made available to selected professional bodies.
††††† A newsletter, FEEDBACK, covering current topics from disidentified reports and including new report forms, is sent four times a year to all commercially licensed pilots, air traffic controllers and engineering personnel, a circulation of around 30,000.† FEEDBACK maintains an awareness of Human Factors issues among the flying, air traffic controller and aircraft maintenance communities and provides a forum for discussion.† In addition a separate newsletter, entitled GA FEEDBACK, containing reports of particular interest to light aircraft operations/leisure flying is distributed to the General Aviation communities.


For more information on the Programme, contact:

The CHIRP Charitable Trust, Building Y20E, Room G15, Cody Technology Park, Ively Road, Farnborough, GU14 0LX.
Tel: +44 (0)1252 395013
Fax: +44 (0)1252 394290



The General Aviation Safety Council [GASCo]

GASCo is a charitable body whose object is to foster the development of General Aviation in the United Kingdom along safe lines by encouraging competence, safety and good airmanship among General Aviation pilots and operators and all concerned with General Aviation activities.† General Aviation includes all forms of aviation other than airline operation, and military operations.

There are over 30 members of the GASCo Council. The members include the representative bodies of all the significant General Aviation activities in the United Kingdom, relevant learned societies and Government Departments concerned with General Aviation.† A list of the member organisations of GASCo appears below.
††††† GASCo pursues its aims in a variety of ways. It holds quarterly meetings where representatives of all the disciplines involved discuss aspects of flight safety. For example, parachutists can explore with powered pilots, controllers and RAF officers how better separation for paradrops might be achieved. Ordinary members of a GASCo member organisation are welcome at a quarterly meeting and should make arrangements through the representative to GASCo of that member organisation.
††††† GASCo’s quarterly magazine,
Flight Safety, has a circulation of over 14,000. It is sent to registered owners of GA aeroplanes and helicopters, to aeroplane and helicopter instructors, to non powered pilots via their member organisations and to many individual subscribers who pay £16 per annum (£20 for overseas subscribers). GASCo hold seminars and fly ins open to anyone.
††††† The administrator of the Flyontrack website is Nigel Everett, who is also the editor of
Flight Safety.



GASCo Office: Rochester Airport, Chatham, Kent ME5 9SD.
Tel/fax 01634 200203.
Chief Executive: John Thorpe


Flyontrack and Editor’s Office: Coombe Cottage, Colway Cross, Bishops Teignton, Teignmouth, Devon TQ14 9TJ.
Tel 01626 776199

The GASCo website:



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