Home Uncategorized EC unimpressed with UK’s Brexit ‘no deal’ aviation plan

EC unimpressed with UK’s Brexit ‘no deal’ aviation plan

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The European Commission (EC) has given a cool response to the UK’s aviation transition plan in the event of there being a “no deal” Brexit situation.

And IATA’s director general has expressed concerns at the vast amount of work that will be required by aviation organizations and individuals to maintain air links.

Talk of the likelihood of “no deal” Brexit—meaning the UK will not have agreed new terms of its post-Brexit relationship with European Union (EU) countries by the March 29, 2019 deadline—have escalated in recent weeks. For airlines, the deadline to have aviation agreements in place is even more urgent because they set their 2019 schedules from October.

To try and counter those concerns, the UK government issued guidance Sept. 24 that it accepted air transport agreements between the UK and EU would end on March 29 2019, but it planned to give EU-based airlines the right to continue to fly into the UK and “would expect EU countries to reciprocate”, because disruption to air services “would not be in the interest of any EU country or the UK.”

Similarly, it hoped that new multilateral or bilateral agreements regarding permissions for continued air services could be reached between the UK and EU or individual EU member-states. Such agreements would, again, be reciprocal.

Replying to questions from ATW, however, a European Commission (EC) spokesman referred to the document published by the EC’s directorate-general for mobility and transport in Jan. 2018.

This states that all EU rules covering air transport will cease to apply to the UK when it departs the EU.

Airlines holding operating licenses issued by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority will cease to be valid in the EU’s 27 remaining nations. Additionally, air traffic rights for UK airlines serving EU destinations, and vice versa, will also cease.

The spokesman declined to go into further detail on specific questions.

But there are indications that the EC is not pleased with the UK seemingly trying to skirt the Brexit aviation problem by going directly to EU countries with reciprocal air service offers. EU chief negotiator Michael Barnier is reported to have reprimanded UK Brexit secretary Dominic Raab after it emerged that the UK government had written to EU capitals seeking those aviation bilaterals.

Meanwhile, IATA director-general Alexandre de Juniac, while welcoming the UK government’s guidance document, said it gave an inkling of the amount of work required to prepare for Brexit.

“The UK government’s papers on the air transport implications of a ‘no deal’ departure from the EU clearly exposes the extreme seriousness of what is at stake and underscores the huge amount of work that would be required to maintain vital air links.

“It is not just permission for flights to take off and land. Everything from pilots’ licenses to security arrangements need to be agreed.

“Much of this could be secured through mutual recognition of existing standards. But formalizing this cannot happen overnight. And even when that is done, there will still be an administrative burden for the airlines and governments involved that will take time and significant resources.

“While we still hope for a comprehensive EU-UK deal, an assumption that ‘it will be all right on the night’ is far too risky to accept. Every contingency should be prepared for, and we call upon both the EU and the UK to be far more transparent with the state of the discussions.”

atw

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