EBACE2019 Session Looks at Impending Brexit

23 May 2019

As the 31 October 2019 deadline for the United Kingdom (UK) to exit the European Union (EU) gets closer, attendees of the 2019 European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE2019) discussed what the pending Brexit could mean for aviation, particularly business aviation.

“We’re not here to talk about Brexit, we’re here to assume it’s happened,” moderator Graham Williamson, Sonas Aviation, in setting the tone for the panel, adding it’s important to work out the kinks before Brexit takes place.

David Kendrick, with the British Civil Aviation Authority, said it’s “not all glum,” at his agency, which is thinking ahead and already working on issues including licensing and certification. What we don’t want to see is a connectivity problem, he said.

“When we do get to 1 November, success for us will be a person gets on a plane exactly the same as he did on the 31 October, and notice no difference whatsoever,” Kendrick said, adding they want to preserve as much of the “status quo” as possible.
Frédérique Jos, from BRJ Avocats Associés, talked about the issue from the EU perspective. “We have been keeping calm and hoping for the best and preparing for the worst,” she said. Jos, who serves as the vice-chair of the Associate Member Advisory Council of EBAA said, there were several areas to take into consideration – particularly certification and agreements that are currently in place with UK entities.

Clyde & Co.’s Mark Bissett, who helped write the EBAA Brexit Report, said much has changed since that report came out, adding there was a “dry run” in March when Brexit was supposed to take place and now there’s another opportunity to see “what we can do” as October approaches. On 1 November the first question for operators will be what traffic rights do they have, and may find they can no longer conduct certain flights without any arrangements in place.

While the situation remains fluid, it was clear from the session that there are still many questions to answer before 1 November.

Read the EBAA Report about Brexit and what it could mean or business aviation.