2-years ago I wrote: “Early in the year, prudently the EU published a series of notices concerning the “No Deal” outcome. These were stark and based upon the UK becoming a “Third Country” with a blank sheet of paper in front of it. That’s a Country with no special arrangements with the EU.” It seems that they (EU) were very prudent.
That said, let’s be optimistic. News reports are that the UK and EU have transitioned into an intensive phase of negotiations with the aim of getting a much-cherished Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Here we are coming up to the last week of October 2020.
Although the outcome remains unclear the wisdom of being prepared for the end of the Transition Period is unquestionable. Aviation has been trying to get to grips with the ups and downs of Brexit for 4-years, but this is the real crunch time.
As I’ve commented before, the departure of the UK from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) was unexpected only a year ago but it’s going to happen on 1 January 2021. This will mean more “red tape” and regulatory costs for UK industry, but the UK Government is unmoved in its position.
For aircraft design, UK based Design approval holders need to apply to the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for a UK Design Organisation Approval (DOA). The UK CAA will continue to apply the European rules as set out in Regulation EU No 748/2012 that determines the rules for the certification of design organisations. Part-21 subpart J of this Regulation concerns the Design of aircraft or the associated components.
For aircraft production, UK based production approval holders are advised to apply for an EASA Third Country Production Organisation Approval (POA). The same is true for those maintenance organisations who want to work on European Member State registered aircraft. This is an administrative procedure within EASA and so certificates will only be issued to UK organisations, all being well, after the transition period has expired.
A lot will depend on what’s in any EU-UK aviation agreements as to any mutual acceptance or recognition of approvals. Now, no one is able to predict the outcome of negotiations. We all must rely on statements from the UK Government and EU Commission on the latest progress of negotiations.
To me this is a mighty strange state of affairs. If I reflect on the detailed and thoughtful groundwork done for the creation of EASA back in 2002-3, it’s as if a everything has been thrown to the four winds.