Brexit & Aviation 107

Remarkable as it may seem we are just 18 days to UK Prime Minister Johnson’s artificial Brexit deadline of 31st October 2019[1].  Whatever happens next, we know relative to the UK’s current EU Membership, Johnson’s proposals are substantially negative[2].

We know the opinion polls are showing that the British public has turned against Brexit.  Brexit means bureaucracy, debt, less choice, loss of influence and perpetual turmoil.  Why on earth would anyone still want it?  Even those who might want it are likely to say they don’t want what’s on offer.  For example, the DUP in Northern Ireland has already rejected the notion of a “double customs” solution[3].

Next weekend, hundreds of thousands of people will take to the streets to demand a People’s Vote in what will be one of the largest protests in British history.  There’s still someway to go before this matter is settled.  Clearly, the European Union (EU) wants to avoid a disorderly Brexit and establish as close a future relationship as possible with the UK.  I hope that that wish is reciprocated.

In aviation, about 1 in 10 UK pilots think Brexit is positive[4].  I don’t know if cabin crew, air traffic controllers or engineers have been surveyed on the same subject.  That said, I’d be surprised if the result was different for any of the aviation professions.

Civil aviation has a well-established system for reporting what happened when things go wrong.  There’s a mature system under REGULATION (EU) No 376/2014[5] that states the rights and responsibilities of people in the European aviation system.  This is a way of sharing aviation safety information between authorities in the EU.

It’s vital.  Let’s say an aircraft has an undercarriage failure in Spain.  Then weeks later a similar type of aircraft has a similar failure in Finland.  It’s vital to join the dots to ensure the authorities fully understand what’s going on in day-to-day operations.  Much of this safety information is shared via the European Central Repository (ECR) called into being by EU legislation.  As a non-EU State and not being a member of EASA, the UK will lose direct access to the ECR[6].  Yes, information can be requested from the ECR through a written procedure but that’s no substitute to having direct access to the database.  I expect this is one of the many important issues associated with data sharing that are just waiting to pop out of Brexit.

[1] https://interactive.news.sky.com/2017/brexit-countdown/

[2] https://ukandeu.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/The-economic-impact-of-Boris-Johnsons-Brexit-proposals.pdf

[3]https://www.repubblica.it/esteri/2019/10/12/news/dup_s_nigel_dodds_rejects_double_customs_brexit_solution_it_cannot_work_-238366257/?refresh_ce

[4] https://www.balpa.org/Media-Centre/Press-Releases/Only-one-in-ten-pilots-think-Brexit-will-be-positi

[5] https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=OJ:JOL_2014_122_R_0002&rid=24

[6] https://info.caa.co.uk/brexit/ocurrence-reporting/

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