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Tue, Jan 01, 2019

Will The U.K. Stay In The EASA System After Brexit?

If Not, What Might Be The Impacts On GA In The UK And In Europe?

There are significant risks to General Aviation aircraft owners and pilots should the U.K. pull out of the EASA system, according to analysis from IAOPA.

Basically, the British Aviation institutions, the British airlines and the British General Aviation, want to continue to be part of the EASA system. They have invested a lot of time and energy in the development of EASA. Many of the positive elements of the EASA system are due to British influence. For example, with the improved rules for general aviation, the EASA General Aviation Roadmap came about only when the governments of France and the United Kingdom joined the airline industry's criticisms and pushed the changes. Staying within the EASA system is possible for the United Kingdom as a non-EU Member State, as it is currently the case for Switzerland and Norway. However, there are issues that make it seem likely that the U.K. will exit EASA as a result of Brexit.

First, Britain would have to accept the European Court of Justice as a last resort in the event of litigation. Second, Britain would have to give up its voting rights in the EASA Committee, and finally, Britain would have to pay Brussels a fee of several million euros a year to use the rules. These points are hardly acceptable to die-hard Brexiteers.

In the meantime, there are quite a few pilots in the countries on the continent who got their pilot’s license in the U.K. The CAA U.K. is known for its fast and good service. For the same reason, many aircraft operators in Continental Europe are flying aircraft under a G-registration.

IAOPA says that both pilots and aircraft owners/operators should urgently consider how Brexit could affect their operation and consider moving pilot licenses and aircraft registrations to an EASA member state prior to EASA Brexit. There is significant risk that after Brexit they will be considered "Third Country", with the painful restrictions experienced by U.S. licensees and aircraft operators a few years ago.

For instance, as a pilot holding a U.K. license you quite likely will no longer be allowed to fly EU registered aircraft without a validation from the country of registry. Similarly if you are today flying a U.K. registered aircraft on a non-U.K. license then be prepared that you likely will need a validation after March 2019 if you are flying outside the U.K. Whatever you decide to do, don't wait till the last minute. The U.K. CAA has indicated that an application to transfer a license should be submitted before New Year in order to be certain that it can be processed in time before the anticipated Brexit date.

In response to our questions to senior CAA-U.K. officials, whatever recommendations they can give, they tell us only: "We honestly do not know, and we are not allowed to speculate. But you better make sure you are on the safe side."

Martin Robinson, director of AOPA UK, is not very optimistic about the changes of the U.K. staying with EASA. "The current info I have is that we will not remain a part of EASA," he said. "The Prime Minister said the future relationship with EASA is to be based on capabilities and the legal format will happen in the next phase of negotiations after the U.K. has left the EU. We have also decided to not continue with Galileo! What a mess."

IAOPA says that it hopes Britain will remain in the EASA system, which would be very important for the future of European aviation.

(Source: IAOPA newsletter)

FMI: www.iaopa.org

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