Brexit – the UK to be a ‘third country’ member of EASA?

The UK government’s White Paper on the ‘Future Relationship between the UK and the EU’, published on 12 July, answered some important questions for commercial and corporate aviation but failed to satisfy others.

It confirmed that: “In line with the UK’s objective of ensuring that products only go through one approval mechanism to access both markets, the UK is seeking participation in these EU agencies, as an active participant, albeit without voting rights, which would involve making an appropriate financial contribution.

“The UK would want to secure access to relevant IT systems, ensuring the timely transfer of data between UK and EU authorities. In addition, it would seek … for EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency), becoming a third country member via the established route under Article 66 of the EASA basic regulation, as Switzerland has.”

There are several questions that remain unanswered, including the movement of aviation personnel such as pilots and maintenance technicians between the UK and EU-27, as well as how business aviation operations and services may be affected. As negotiations continue, airlines, manufacturers and operators have all expressed frustration at the pace of talks, the lack of clarity and the potential implications of a complete exit from EASA.

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