Public consultations are used by regulatory agencies for input into their decisions and provide an opportunity for interest groups to voice their concerns. However, researchers emphasised that interest groups are also active before consultations, when drafting regulatory rules. Public consultations might be the tip of the iceberg, with influence during early rule drafting stages looming beneath the surface. This paper looks into interest group behaviour during rulemaking by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Combining datasets on interest group access to rule drafting workshops (N = 538) and interest group behaviour in consultations (N = 42,595), the paper assesses what those that help draft rules do during public consultations. Strikingly, only a minority of these groups participate in consultations afterwards. Those that do participate, however, make active attempts to change regulation. These findings do not differ for different interest group types or at different levels of salience. Public consultations are therefore actively used by insiders, emphasising their importance for providing input in the rulemaking process. However, as many of those that draft rules do not participate in public consultations, the impact of many vital interest groups exists beneath the surface.