The EU Commission yesterday approved the plan to maintain flight connectivity with the UK following a no deal Brexit, which appears to be growing ever more likely unless a huge swathe of British MP’s decided to vote in favour of a deal and the country’s future, rather than their personal agendas and politics.
The plan establishes rules that will apply for up to 12 months, following which a new treaty will be required. It’s possible to extend the arrangement but only if negotiations are under way at the time.
- British airlines owned and operated in the UK with UK registrations will NOT be permitted to fly between EU member countries.
- British and European owned airlines WILL be permitted to fly in to the EU from the UK and from the EU into the UK.
- Security and safety/engineering recognitions will be extended for 12 months. After that they will no longer be valid unless a comprehensive aviation agreement has been reached. This is especially important for transit flights luggage transfer, and all maintenance on aircraft.
- Visas will not be required for travel under 90 days duration in the EU, or for transit
- Flight crew certifications will remain valid for the period, but will not be renewed
- Airlines with ownership structures that would make them Third Nation (ie Britain outside of the EU) controlled, have until the end of September 2019 to resolve it.
Air Traffic Control arrangements are technically unaffected by Brexit as the European traffic control area, which is heavily integrated and somewhat dependent on UK participation for both technical, financial, and practical reasons, isn’t part of the EU and operates as a separate entity.
If a Brexit deal is finally agreed, which is seemingly becoming ever less likely, the above arrangement will be superseded, leaving things as they are right now until the 2 year transition period ends in 2021, after which a newly negotiated EU-UK open skies type arrangement is likely to be agreed, which for the most pat will leave things much as they are.
However there will have to be some changes if the UK has no free trade deal to go with it, because it won’t be a single open market or have freedom of movement. Hardest hit are likely to be air crews, especially cabin crew and pilots who just won’t be able to work as freely as they do now, move from one airline to another or live in Europe without an employment level visa and all the qualifying demands they make, from income to housing requirements.
The transferability of mechanic/technician certification is also a contentious issue, along with the certification of technical facilities to conduct acceptable maintenance on aircraft flying in and out of the EU.