BREXIT – UPDATE

On the 5th November we published an update for our clients concerning the impact of BREXIT on our business and on the operations of our clients. Since we published this item the negotiated BREXIT deal intended to provide some certainty has so far failed to be subject to a successful parliamentary vote, with such a vote now delayed until January 2019.

 As we informed through an earlier news article the Resource Group has recently joined the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) in an effort to be part of an organisation that does have a voice and lobby at EU level. Their position on BREXIT is very much aligned with our own outlook, favoring a comprehensive and wide-reaching aviation agreement between the EU and the UK being reached as opposed to a ‘no-deal’ scenario.

 Earlier in December ERA’s Director General Montserrat Barriga wrote a letter on behalf of the association’s members to various people including the EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc and to the UK Minister for Transport the RTG Hon Chris Grayling. Below is a link from the ERA with details of the response received.

http://eraa.gtml1.com/eraalz/lz.aspx?p1=McmDU2ODY2MVM5NjE1-&CC=&p=0

We are clearly still some distance form securing a clear view of what the future looks like and this is of course still subject to ratification through UK parliamentary vote in the New Year.

As we indicated in our last update, there is a solid contingency plan in place for the EASA approval of our training facilities (ATT) and we expect to hold a full third-country EASA approval at the point of the UK’s exit irrespective of the outcome of the vote in January. In relation to UK license holders (pilots and technicians) currently exercising the privileges of their licence outside of the UK in another EASA member state, there continues to be more uncertainty.

On the 19th December (coincidentally today starts the 100 countdown to the UK’s departure from the EU) the European Commission released a press release concerning the implementation of its ‘no-deal’ Contingency Action Plan. This plan includes 14 measures in a limited number of areas where a ‘no-deal’ scenario would create major disruption for citizens and businesses in the EU27. These areas include financial services, air transport, customs and others. In relation to Air Transport the salient points are:

The Commission has today adopted two measures that will avoid full interruption of air traffic between the EU and the UK in the event of no deal. These measures will only ensure basic connectivity and in no means replicate the significant advantages of membership of the Single European Sky. This is subject to the UK conferring equivalent rights to EU air carriers, as well as the UK ensuring conditions of fair competition.

  • A proposal for a Regulation to ensure temporarily (for 12 months) the provision of certain air services between the UK and the EU.
  • A proposal for a Regulation to extend temporarily (for 9 months) the validity of certain aviation safety licenses.

The Commission has also adopted a proposal for a Regulation to allow UK operators to temporarily (nine months) carry goods into the EU, provided the UK confers equivalent rights to EU road haulage operators and subject to fair competition conditions.

 

As the text is so vague the question remains whether or not the above reference to ‘aviation safety licences’ includes licenses held by individuals (pilots, engineers and cabin crew) and we will continue to seek clarity on this point. In the meantime holder of such licenses should consider transferring their qualifications to another EASA state, especially if they are dependent on such qualifications for continued employment in other EASA member states.

A popular jurisdiction  for such transfers appear to be the Republic of Ireland. Below you will find a link to the relevant section of their website. In the meantime we will continue to monitor developments and comment as appropriate.

https://www.iaa.ie/personnel-licensing/pilot-licences-(eu-regulations)/part-fcl-licence-transfer-process

Stephan Hickman

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