As Brexit Approaches, England Makes Plans for Airlines

Update: September 25, 2018 at 11:55 a.m. ET

International Air Transport Association (IATA) CEO Alexandre de Juniac released a statement on the recent Brexit news:

“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. 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 formalizing 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. 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.”

Original Text

As issues surrounding Brexit continue to surface in Europe, officials in England announced Monday it will continue to allow European Union-based airlines to fly in and out of the country even if it leaves the union without a deal.

According to, government officials in Britain said they want to continue supporting the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), but the lack of a Brexit deal could leave airline employees without pilot and safety licenses issued by the United Kingdom.

English representatives are working on a plan for airlines ahead of the scheduled departure date of March 29, 2019, including developing deals between the U.K, the E.U., and individual countries.

“In this scenario, the U.K. would envisage granting permission to E.U. airlines to continue to operate,” the English government said in a letter released Monday. “We would expect E.U. countries to reciprocate in turn.”

If the no-deal scenario comes to fruition, U.K. officials said it would retain E.U. legislation and enforce the rules with its own aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Agency (CAA). This includes ensuring all pilots licenses are compatible throughout Europe.

England would follow the E.U. regulations for two years following Brexit before needing to replace them with CAA versions. The nation said it hopes the E.U. will reciprocate the action to make the transition smoother.

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