Where are we now with Brexit? This month, a couple of statements have been put in the public domain. One of them is the European Commission’s publication: “Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU aviation safety rules” from 13 April 2018. This European Union (EU) paper describes the situation with respect to the UK as a non-EU country without a new agreement in place. However, it’s clear that public statements from industry, the Government and the UK Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA) all indicate a desire of the UK to remain as a member of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). That wish will need to be implemented in some manner or form.
In the longer term, there’s some expectation that a Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) could be signed between the EU and the UK as a non-EU country. This would be used to detail the cooperation between the EU and UK, including any mutual acceptance of certificates.
In the shorter term, it’s possible to imagine a Working Arrangement (WA) between EASA and the UK CAA that would address continuing technical matters.
Either way any new agreement is a matter for the EU and the UK Government. It may or may not be in place during the much talked of implementation period after March 2019.
The UK is unlike other Countries in that it has been a founding member of both the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) and EASA but will be the first to plan to leave the EU. Nevertheless, in the European aviation field the UK remains a member of intergovernmental bodies like; ECAC and EUROCONTROL.
It is worth noting that the JAA Cyprus Arrangements ceased in 30 June 2009. Other non-EU States that were part of the JAA had to find new working arrangements with EASA after that date.
Today, four non-EU European States are EASA Member States and have a seat on the EASA Management Board. The Management Board is responsible for the definition of the Agency’s priorities, the establishment of the budget and for monitoring the Agency’s operation.
It is possible to imagine the UK becoming the fifth.
If this is not achieved, and no unique or emergency measure are in place then significant difficulties will arise. On its website, the UK CAA has made it clear that even for such an unlikely situation contingency plans are being made.