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IATA issues stark warning on risk of ‘no deal’ Brexit

September 27, 2018 Headline News No Comments

If Britain “crashes out” of the European Union (EU) without negotiating a smooth exit plan, the effects on air transport could be dire with big disruptions and flights grounded.

Britain is due to leave the EU in March 2019, a date now just six months away, and in the case of a no-deal Brexit, flights may be grounded if the EU doesn’t grant reciprocal approvals to its planes and airlines. Britain reckons that scenario is unlikely, despite a recent setback in negotiations.

Now the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has waded in with a warning.

“The UK government’s papers on the air transport implications of a ‘no deal’ departure from the EU clearly exposes the extreme seriousness of what is at stake and underscores the huge amount of work that would be required to maintain vital air links,” IATA director general and chief executive, Alexandre de Juniac, declared.​

“It is not just permission for flights to take off and land. Everything from pilots’ licenses to security arrangements need to be agreed.

“Much of this could be secured through mutual recognition of existing standards. But formalising this cannot happen overnight. And even when that is done, there will still be an administrative burden for the airlines and governments involved that will take time and significant resources,” de Juniac said.

“While we still hope for a comprehensive EU-UK deal, an assumption that ‘it will be all right on the night’ is far too risky to accept. Every contingency should be prepared for, and we call upon both the EU and the UK to be far more transparent with the state of the discussions.”

IATA represents some 290 airlines comprising 82% of global air traffic.

While Britain will continue to recognise European Aviation Safety Agency certifications for up to two years after 29 March 2019, there’s no guarantee that the EU will recognise planes, parts, pilots, cabin crew and engineers certified by the UK.

Written by Peter Needham

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