Aviation groups in the UK and U.S. are jointly appealing to the European Commission to begin technical and contingency planning discussions between the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) before the UK departs the EU. The UK’s ADS Group and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association sent a joint letter on June 7 to Michel Barnier, EC chief negotiator for Brexit, stressing the urgency of such discussions. “As we are now less than one year from the UK’s exit from the EU, the concerns of our sectors are growing more pressing,” the groups said.
Companies face uncertainty over Brexit plans but must make investment decisions, they said in the letter, adding these businesses are being forced to make those decisions based on a worst-case scenario. “This does not benefit the UK or the EU27, and the impact as these irreversible decisions are taken will be felt in supply chains and operations across the whole of Europe, and beyond.”
Noting Barnier’s speech earlier this year warning that time is running out to prepare for “inevitable consequences,” the organizations said, “The European aviation industry as a whole cannot afford any unintended consequences that arise from legal uncertainties.” Ambiguity surrounding the legal status of UK-certified aircraft and parts could ground those aircraft. Similarly, ambiguity surrounding maintenance proposals could threaten operations, they added.
“The impact of Brexit on aviation is not isolated to UK companies. It falls on the European aerospace industry as a whole,” the organizations said. “We need to see significant progress on key issues at the June European Council meeting.”