Warning of the need for a consistent level of aviation safety after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is urging both sides to establish contingency plans in case they are unable to agree on a withdrawal agreement and a Brexit transition period.
The U.K. and the EU must move quickly to establish a framework for regulating aviation safety and security, as well as preventing interruptions in air transport services and putting in place policies and processes for efficient border management, IATA said Wednesday.
“These are the most critical areas because there are no fallback agreements … available in a ‘no-deal’ Brexit scenario,” IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said. “Without any contingency planning being made transparent to the industry, the risks of not addressing these issues could mean chaos for travelers and interrupted supply chains. With less than six months to go, we have little more certainty than we did in June 2016,” when U.K. voters endorsed leaving the EU.
In recent months, the U.K. and the EU have been attempting to reach agreement on how to handle the withdrawal. If they fail, the U.K.’s departure from the EU would occur abruptly on March 29, without a transition period. In that case, a significant disruption in air services would be likely, IATA said.
“The safety and security framework for connectivity between the UK and EU is complex [and] comprehensive, and delivering world-class levels of performance [is] the industry’s number one priority,” IATA said. “There can be no compromise to keeping passengers and shipments safe and secure.”
IATA called for the U.K. to remain in the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) after withdrawal from the EU, “at least as a third-country member,” and recommended that EASA and the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority conduct technical discussions on their future relationship.
“Mutual recognition of professional licenses, standards for materials and parts, and other safety elements should be put in place to come into effect immediately after March,” IATA said.