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Brexit

On June 23, 2016, citizens of the United Kingdom voted to withdraw from the European Union in a national referendum. Fifty-two percent of voters voted for the UK to “leave” the political and economic union joining it to 27 other member states. The separation is scheduled to become effective at 11:00 p.m. GMT on March 29, 2019.

This page is provided as a resource for the aviation maintenance community. It will provide key aviation updates – when necessary – regarding transition negotiations between the British government and the European Commission. It also contains a list of resources useful for finding more information.

Note: Through its monthly newsletter, the hotline, ARSA is providing some basic instruction for businesses to prepare for the worst-case scenario of a “hard Brexit.” Members with specific questions should contact the association.

Key Updates:

(1) October 2018 Briefing by UK CAA: Brexit Update for U.S. Industry

Click to access the presentation.

(2) October 2018 Media Report: “EASA Updates Brexit Notice To Prepare for No-deal Scenario”

With the UK’s exit from the European Union now less than six months away, the European Aviation Safety Agency has begun putting in place what it describes as “preparedness measures” and said it will start to process “some applications” for third-country approvals from existing UK approval holders.

Click here to read coverage from AIN Online.

(3) June 2018 “Framework for the UK-EU Partnership (Transportation)”

This presentation is part of a series produced by the UK negotiating team for discussion with the EU, in order to inform the development of the future framework. It focuses on an element of the vision for our future relationship set out by the Prime Minister. The future framework will set out the terms of the political entities’ future relationship, to be translated into legally binding agreements after the UK’s withdrawal.

Click to access presentation.

(4) April 2018 EC “Notice to Stakeholders” 

On April 13, 2018, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transportation issued a notice on the “Withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) and EU Aviation Safety Rules.”

The notice explains that unless a withdrawal agreement establishes a different timeline or other rules, on March 30, 2019 all EU laws will cease to apply in or to the UK, including those related to civil aviation safety. Among the potential consequences:

  • EASA carries out the functions and tasks of the state of design on behalf of EU member states. This includes the issuance of type certificates for products, design approvals for parts and appliances and design organization approvals. Such approvals issued by EASA to persons and organizations located in the UK will no longer be valid in the EU.
  • Certificates issued by the UK pursuant to EU rules (including airworthiness, approved maintenance organization, maintenance training organization, manufacturing, and mechanic certificates) will no longer be valid.
  • Certificates confirming compliance with EU rules issued before the withdrawal date by persons certificated by the UK pursuant to EU rules will no longer be valid (with some limited grandfathering exceptions).
  • UK aircraft operators will be considered ‘third country’” operators by the EU and require an authorization from the EASA.
  • EU aircraft operators using UK-registered aircraft will need to comply with EU rules on air services concerning the use of ‘third country’ registered aircraft.

Individuals, as well as organizations located in the UK holding certificates who wish to continue EU activities will need to ensure compliance with EU aviation safety requirements. The notice also states that the Commission is considering whether any additional steps or guidance are needed to facilitate compliance for products, parts and appliances certificated before the withdrawal date and put in use in the EU before the withdrawal date and/or relevant organizations or persons requiring certification.

The Commission’s notice sets forth the worst-case scenario. Aviation safety is a key issue in Brexit negotiations and policymakers on both sides of the English Channel will look for ways to avoid massive disruptions. A UK government report states that the UK and the EU are working to pave the way for the UK to continue participating in EASA through the end of 2020.

As for the longer-term future, the UK could become an “associated” country for purposes of EASA, the status enjoyed by Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland (European countries but not EU members). According to the FAA, associated countries can enter into bilateral agreements with third countries (as long as they don’t contradict EASA’s interest). The UK could therefore conclude separate bilaterals with the United States to minimize headaches for companies doing business between the two countries.

Before you take the EC’s notice as gospel, visit EASA’s webpage for additional perspectives on the Brexit negotiations and links to other EU and UK resources.

Resources:

From the European Commission:

(1) EC Notice to Stakeholders: Withdrawal of the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) and EU Aviation Safety Rules
(2) EC Webpage on Brexit Negotiations
(3) Task Force 50 Webpage

From the UK:

(1) Civil Aviation Authority of the UK’s “EU Exit” Page
(2) GOV.UK Webpage for Brexit Updates
(3) Webpage for the UK Department for Exiting the European Union
(4) British Broadcasting Corporation Webpage on Brexit

From Other Aviation Safety Regulators:

(1) EASA Webpage on Brexit Negotiations
(2) FAA Webpage on EASA

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