Rules of the Air Just Got Simpler

What about the JSP 550 series?!
A revised and restructured set of UK military aviation regulations, designed to create an improved regulatory framework and document set for the military air domain, were published on 1st July 2011 by the Military Aviation Authority (MAA). They will come into effect on the 1st August 2011. Effectively, these MAA Regulatory Publications (MRPs) replace the JSP 550 series.

What has changed?
In terms of substance, very little – the new MRPs are modelled on the JSPs, but are re-written with the aim of providing a better structure and more clarity.

Key features of the MRP include the separation of top level regulations from guidance material and the bringing together of regulations that are specific and applicable to one area. At this stage the emphasis has been placed on changing the existing layout, content and clarity of legacy rules to simplify these and remove duplication, rather than the introduction of new and additional regulatory requirements. This will follow in due course. In adopting this approach, an additional benefit has been a 30% reduction in the volume of the MRP document set.

Why the change?
The new MRPs are a concise document set which set out the Air Safety regulatory framework for the acquisition, operation and continued airworthiness of air systems across Defence. The MRP is designed to be easier to read, teach, assimilate and apply than the previous format and provides a greater emphasis on the ownership and management of risk to life.

Military aviation regulation and policy was described in the Nimrod Review as ‘of Byzantine complexity’ and ‘impenetrable’ – the launch of the MRP is a major step in tackling this criticism and is just one example of the fundamental changes to the regulation of military Air Safety being driven forward by the MAA.

What next?
The MAA has adopted a phased approach to the introduction and implementation of the MRP. This allowed time for the regulated community to become familiar with its content and layout before necessary compliance. Originally published on 1st July 2011, users were given one month for this familiarisation process before formal enactment on 1st August 2011. The deadline for incorporating the new references into subsidiary documents (FOBs, flying manuals, teaching materials etc.) was 31st December 2011.

Beyond that, work is already underway within the MAA to develop a smarter, intuitive, web-based hosting option for the MRP, which will further enhance the accessibility and interpretation of regulatory material.

Where can I find the new MRPs?
A link to the full MRP set, and further information about the MAA and its activities can be found a

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