• Advice to the aviation industry on a no deal Brexit

    Information from the CAA: info.caa.co.uk/euexit/ 

    The UK Government's position

    The UK Government has been clear that as the UK exits the EU, its aim is to ensure continued transport connectivity in support of successful economic and social ties, and as part of a deep and special future relationship.

    The Government continues to pursue an agreed Brexit by 31 January 2020 but different scenarios are possible, including that the UK will leave the EU without agreement.

    The CAA's role in Brexit

    Determining the future relationship between the EU and the UK on aviation is a matter for the UK Government in its negotiations with the EU. 

    This page sets out the work that the CAA is undertaking in relation to EU withdrawal, including our readiness for a potential non-negotiated withdrawal from the EU on 31 January 2020. 

    As a responsible regulator, the CAA is undertaking the following activities in preparation for Brexit.

    Supporting the Government in the Brexit process and preparations:

    • Providing technical advice and support to negotiations where requested;
    • Providing legal and policy support in developing legislation (the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018) to ensure that the statute book continues to function in all scenarios; and
    • Working with the Department for Transport (DfT) to develop and implement Bilateral Air Safety Agreements or similar agreements with the USA, Brazil, Canada and Japan to replace those currently in place with the EU for when they are needed.

    Implementing contingency plans for the regulation of aviation in the event of a non-negotiated withdrawal from the EU on 31 January 2020.

    CAA support to the UK Government

    Providing technical advice

    As the UK's aviation regulator, the CAA provides ongoing advice to the Government on request on technical aviation matters for support during the negotiations.

    Preparing for exit

    The EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 will convert, if required, existing EU law into UK law, and preserve existing UK laws which implement EU obligations, ensuring a smooth and orderly exit.

    The DfT has developed associated secondary legislation to ensure a functioning statute book, with CAA's legal and policy support.

    Bilateral Air Safety Agreements

    The UK and EU have agreed that, during the Implementation Period, the UK is to be treated as a Member State for the purposes of international agreements for the duration of the implementation period. This includes the EU-level Bilateral Air Safety Agreements with the US, Canada and Brazil.

    The DfT and CAA have worked with their counterpart national aviation authorities to put in place equivalent agreements for when they are needed.

    CAA preparation for a non-negotiated EU exit

    The CAA has been clear since the EU referendum that we consider that the most positive outcome for UK consumers and the aviation industry would be one where the UK has continued participation within the EASA system and for existing systems of mutual recognition between the UK and EASA Member States to remain.

    The Government has also said it is keen to explore the terms of EASA participation as part of its negotiation with the EU.

    Despite this, our contingency planning is based on a scenario in which the UK Government and CAA take all reasonable steps within their control to reduce disruption to the aviation industry, but the EU does not agree to a mutual recognition arrangement.

    The CAA has developed a microsite to be a central source of information for the aviation and aerospace industries about the actions they would need to take to be prepared for a no deal withdrawal from the EU and no continued mutual recognition. 

    Planning assumptions for a non-negotiated exit

    To help organisations with their own planning for Brexit, we have listed the assumptions that we used to develop our approach for a potential non-negotiated withdrawal from the EU. 
    These assumptions are not representative of the CAA’s view of the most likely, or desirable, outcome of negotiations and do not reflect Government policy, but have allowed us as a responsible regulator to prepare for all possible scenarios.  In a non-negotiated outcome in October 2019, we have assumed that:

    • The UK leaves the EU at 11 pm on 31 January 2020.
    • Through the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018, the UK adopts all European aviation laws at the point of exit.  Changes will be made to ensure those laws are legally operable.
    • The UK continues to mirror EU aviation regulations for at least a two-year period.
    • The UK withdraws completely from the EASA system in January 2020, meaning that the CAA will need to fulfil regulatory functions without having EASA as a technical agent and without having access to EASA and EU-level capabilities.
    • The UK is no longer included in EU-level Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreements.
    • There is no mutual recognition agreement between the EU and the UK for aviation licences, approvals and certificates.
    • UK issued licences and approvals (issued when the UK was an EASA member) will continue to have validity under UK law but only those contained in EU Regulation 2019/494 will continue to have validity within the EU system, as defined by that regulation. 
    • The EU treats UK airlines as Third Country Operators.
    • All licences issued by the CAA under EU legislation, and all type approval certificates and third country approvals issued by EASA under EU legislation, will continue to have validity under UK law, if they were effective immediately before exit day.
    • The UK has minimised additional requirements for licences, approvals and certificates from EU aviation and aerospace companies providing services and goods in the UK.

    Bringing EU regulation into UK law

    Under a non-negotiated withdrawal scenario, a number of regulatory processes will need to exist within the UK system so that we are able to continue to regulate the UK aviation industry. This means that we have been adjusting existing systems so that they can continue to work in exactly the same way as now – but with the UK Government and the CAA fulfilling regulatory functions independently of the EU.

    Developing new functions and capabilities

    Within this scenario, translating EU aviation law into UK law will require the CAA to take on new functions, some of which are currently delivered by EASA. The CAA has implemented plans to fulfil these functions should they be needed following the UK’s departure from the EU. As an example, the CAA has created the capability required for the UK to fulfil State of Design responsibilities independently of EASA should that be needed once the UK leaves the EU.

    Air Transport Agreements

    The CAA has no direct role in the negotiation of air transport agreements, which govern the rights to fly between two countries. These are formal treaties and are negotiated directly between governments.