The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has escaped the list of quangos being axed by the government as part of its spending review.
A list of 177 public bodies to be abolished was published today (Thursday) together with confirmation of another 350 that will be retained, including the CAA.
The government is targeting quangos - quasi autonomous non-governmental organisations - in a bid to cut the UK's deficit. Three key criteria were used to judge performance, including whether the body had a technical function, whether it was politically impartial and whether it needed to act independently to carry out a function.
A CAA spokesman said: "Safety is clearly a technical function where we need to act independently. The volcanic ash episode clearly showed that we were the only people that could act independently and take a neutral decision."
However, the government has warned that scrutiny of bodies like the CAA will continue.
"We may not be spending the tax payer's money, but we are spending the industry's," said the CAA spokesman. "That government focus will not cease."
Tourism bodies Visit England and Visit Britain have also escaped the axe.