New letters reveal that the aviation regulator of the European Union turned down British requests for a joint no-deal Brexit transition plan last July.
Last June, Richard Moriarty, the chief executive of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of the United Kingdom, wrote to Patrick Ky, his EU counterpart, to say that it would be in “both their interests” to agree to a joint transition plan.
He wrote: “These technical discussions between us would enable a joint plan to be made and communicated, and for all EU citizens and businesses to be assured of the ongoing integrity of the aviation framework in any future scenario.”
However, Ky responded to tell him that even though the European Aviation Safety Agency (Easa) was “in principle” available to talk about practical co-operation with the CAA, it considered that it is necessary to have “sufficient clarity and certainty on the outcome of the ongoing withdrawal agreement negotiations” before participating in discussions.
Ky said that he understood the request of the CAA to discussions to limit the disruption and safety risks, however, he noted: “It remains the case that without sufficient clarity on both the outcome of the withdrawal process and the future UK legal framework such discussions would currently be premature.”
The United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union on the 29th of March 2019. It has a deadline for reaching an agreement scheduled for December at the latest.
A spokesperson from the CAA stated: “In the CAA’s no-deal Brexit planning, our absolute priority is to play our role in maintaining safety and maximising continuity and stability for passengers and the aviation and aerospace industries. Our long-standing preference, and the government’s is that the UK remains part of the Easa aviation safety system following EU exit.”
He added: “But as a responsible regulator, we must plan for the possible outcome of a non-negotiated withdrawal. In this scenario, the UK government would incorporate all current EU air transport safety regulations into UK law on 29 March 2019, allowing the CAA to continue to recognise safety licences and approvals issued through EASA for up to two years after this date.”
He continued: “This step would support our aim of providing continuity and stability for aviation and aerospace organisations by avoiding unnecessary or disproportionate regulation. We urge the EU to follow suit by ensuring there is mutual recognition of aviation approvals issued under both EU and UK regimes. This is strongly in the interests of consumers and businesses in both the EU and the UK. Bringing EU aviation legislation into UK law would also mean that we maintain existing levels of consumer protection for passengers.”
The spokesperson concluded: “We call upon the European Commission to allow EASA to hold discussions with us about the detailed technical arrangements that would apply in a no-deal scenario. We are ready to start these talks immediately.”