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European refusal to discuss post-Brexit aviation risks flight chaos, industry warns

Air travel could grind to a halt after Brexit because of the European Commission's refusal to start talks about a new agreement on aviation, Britain’s aerospace industry has warned.
ADS, the body representing the sector, has written to the Commission repeating a warning that the industry’s complex and highly regulated nature means unless discussions are started now aircraft could be grounded.
The group has pointed out that the Commission’s refusal to start talks contradicts its own position set out in July advising all parties - regardless of whether a deal is agreed - to step up preparations and “take responsibility for their specific situation”.
ADS also pointed to the European Council’s statement in June in which it “renewed its call upon member states, union institutions and all stakeholders to step up their work on preparedness at all levels for all outcomes”.
Currently the UK is part of EASA, which controls aerospace regulation in Europe and has established standards that work with similar bodies around the world.
European refusal to discuss post-Brexit aviation risks flight chaos, industry warns

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier

Credit:
Bloomberg 
Paul Everitt, chief executive of ADS, said the UK’s own Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had already had “detailed talks” about potential problems with counterparts in the US, Canada and Brazil.
He added: “As long as the Commission blocks similar discussions between the CAA and EASA it fosters uncertainty and risks legal liability, insurance and passenger safety issues for the global aviation and aerospace industry.”
European refusal to discuss post-Brexit aviation risks flight chaos, industry warns

Flights to and from the UK - and even over UK airspace - could be threatened by a No Deal Brexit 

Credit:
Geoff Pugh
However, Britain leaving the EU without a deal could throw the global aviation industry into chaos with the UK’s role in EASA uncertain.
There are fears that airlines would be unable to schedule flights in and out of the UK, foreign aircraft might not be able to fly in UK airspace and vice versa, while pilots and engineers could suddenly find their qualifications invalidated.
Other concerns relate to aircraft components made by the UK’s ?35bn-a-year aerospace sector - the world’s second largest - which might not be certified to fly until an agreement is drawn up. This could affect everything from wings built by Airbus in the UK to Rolls-Royce engines, which power many of the world's airlines. 
In June ADS and its European counterpart GAMA wrote to EC chief negotiator Michel Barnier saying aerospace needed to be separated from political discussions about Brexit.
European refusal to discuss post-Brexit aviation risks flight chaos, industry warns

ADS chief executive Paul Everitt says the European Commission is at odds with itself by blocking aerospace talks
The groups said as much time as possible was needed to work through the intricate regime that ensures aerospace safety. Even if a Brexit deal is ratified before the deadline of March 2019, they questioned whether a years-long transition period would be sufficient to process the huge volume of regulations.
Replying to the letter, EC deputy chief negotiator Sabine Weyand said: “Without sufficient clarity on the outcome of the withdrawal process and the future UK legal framework, such discussions would be premature.”
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