The UK guidance on aviation security says the current regulations – based on EU rules – will remain in place, but if the EU decides not to recognise UK standards, passengers transferring to other flights at EU airports might have to go through security checkpoints again regardless of being screened in the UK.
More importantly, a no deal Brexit could mean that airlines that operate flights between the UK and EU “would lose the automatic right” to continue those services.
The government warns that carriers would have to seek individual permission to operate between the UK and EU. While the UK would grant permission for EU-registered airlines to continue operations within the country, the EU may decide not to offer a reciprocal agreement.
The government says it would prefer to establish a multilateral agreement with the whole of the EU but would be willing to negotiate flight rights with individual countries within the union.
However, EU-licensed airlines would need to apply for a foreign carrier permit and a UK safety authorisation with the UK Civil Aviation Authority, both of which are established practices for non-EU airlines.
And airlines based in countries outside of the union that have bilateral agreements based on the UK’s membership of the EU would also have to apply for permission to operate flights in the UK, though the government says “replacement arrangements” will be made before 29 March 2019.
Likewise, UK-based airlines would need to apply for the appropriate permissions to continue offering flights to and from the EU. They would also ‘need to consider’ whether the nationality and level of investment of their shareholders are permitted under the conditions of their air service agreement.
However, the government believes it would “not be in the interest of any EU country or the UK to restrict the choice of destinations that could be served”.
ACI Europe reaction
Following the publication today by the UK Government of its Brexit technical notices for aviation in case of a no-deal scenario, ACI EUROPE welcomes the fact that the UK would take actions aimed at minimising disruptions to air connectivity as much as possible.
However, noting the continued uncertainty and risks that such a scenario would still entail, ACI EUROPE considers that it is essential that the UK and the EU27 reach an agreement on the UK’s exit terms and a suitable transition – this would give the two parties time to negotiate and agree their future trading relationship.
Crucially, this would also ensure continuity of the status quo after March 2019 and thus avoid any risk of disruption to air connectivity and the wider economy in the medium term (during the transition) – thus preserving the interests of consumers, airports’ communities and aviation industry stakeholders.
Brussels, 24 September 2018