The Secretary of State for Transport, Geoff Hoon, has appointed Dame Deirdre Hutton CBE as Chair of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) after an open competition. She is the first woman appointed to the post and will take up the position in August 2009 when the term of office of the present Chairman, Sir Roy McNulty, comes to an end after eight years of distinguished service. She will sit on the Board of the Authority during the intervening period.
Dame Deirdre is currently Chair of the Food Standards Agency and accustomed to regulating where safety is the top priority. She will also bring to the CAA expertise in consumer issues and engagement in Europe – her previous appointments include Chair of the National Consumer Council, Deputy Chair of the Financial Services Authority and Deputy Chair of the European Food Safety Authority. She remains a non-executive director of the Treasury.
Dame Deirdre will serve as Non-Executive Chair, working approximately two days per week at the CAA. Her key tasks, as well as maintaining the UK’s excellent aviation safety record, will include guiding the CAA through a period of change following the 2008 strategic review of the Authority and prospective changes to the economic regulation of airports, which are the subject of a current Government consultation. Her appointment is for five years and will initially be at a salary of £130,000 per year.
The Secretary of State intends to appoint a Chief Executive of the CAA to work alongside the new Chair.