UK’s departure from the EU means that it will no longer belong to the ECAA, the European Common Aviation Area. Therefore, EU27 (the 27 European Union countries involved in Brexit negotiations) or EFTA operators (members of the European Free Trade Association) will need to hold a Foreign Carrier Permit to fly to, from, within or via the UK.
A ‘no deal’ scenario would result in a much more complicated situation for travellers and aviation professionals than holding a simple permit or visa: it might involve going back to outdated bilateral agreements the country had in place before it joined the European Union in 1973. Certain laws date back to 1940 with policies concerning specific cities or even individual airports instead of entire countries! Messy, to say the least, this would translate into private jets flying from the UK being only allowed to land in specific airports or cities, each being ruled by different laws.
Whilst discussions are still ongoing as to the future traffic rights between the UK and EU27, as a group or individually, the UK has signed bilateral deals ensuring continuity for its air connections with Switzerland, Canada and the Unites States. These air services agreements protect and maintain the current travel conditions between the UK and the above-mentioned states.
The UK-EU withdrawal agreement has not been ratified yet and the UK is running out of time: the country has until 12 April, to either leave the EU without a deal or request a further extension.
Numerous questions related to air traffic are still being discussed, with policies being valid only temporarily and subject to change.
The Brexit Panel discussion occurring on 22 May during the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) 2019 at Palexpo and Geneva International Airport should hopefully provide us and other industry experts with more information on Brexit’s aftermath.