The General Aviation Manufacturers Association welcomed this week’s release of the UK government’s Brexit white paper but remains concerned about the fate of the UK proposal as negotiations continue with the EU.
Issued yesterday, the paper provides an outline of UK proposals for its future relationship with the European Union. In a section on aviation, the UK said it would seek participation in the European Aviation Safety Agency, adding, “In addition to ensuring that manufacturers should only need to undergo one series of tests in either market, this would also support collective work on aviation safety, reducing regulatory barriers for businesses and ensuring continued high standards for safety across Europe.” The paper further called for close coordination of air traffic management to ensure interoperability.
“We hope this white paper will be a catalyst for accelerating the UK government’s negotiations with the European Union,” said Pete Bunce, president and CEO of GAMA, which has offices in both Brussels and Washington, D.C., adding the clarity on EASA participation “would minimize regulatory barriers for industry while maintaining high levels of aviation safety across Europe.” The proposals on a single market for goods and Customs provide options to avoid disruption of the supply chain of aircraft parts, Bunce further said.
However, he also noted, “It remains to be seen how these proposals will play out during the Brexit negotiations. Several questions still remain, including “the movement of aviation personnel such as pilots and maintenance technicians between the UK and EU-27, as well as how business aviation operations and services may be impacted.“
Little time remains for the EU and UK to reach agreement on issues such as safety oversight, customs arrangements, and environmental standards, Bunce added. “Companies are already enacting contingency plans for next March because they cannot wait for the outcome of these negotiations to plan business operations for 2019 and beyond. We reiterate our call to permit EASA and the UK Civil Aviation Authority to engage in dialogue with industry to make the necessary preparations for a no-deal outcome.”