At the end of the post-Brexit transition period, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) intends to withdraw from the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) and take care of aircraft certification on its own.
The British regulator will retrieve responsibility for aircraft certification and aviation safety regulations. “As you would expect from a sovereign nation, we can’t be subject to the rules and laws made by somebody else,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Aviation Week.
Since January 2020, the United Kingdom is no longer subject to European law and has been considered as a “third country” by EASA. Thus, it no longer takes part in decisions. “A lot of the expertise they have is UK expertise, in fact,” boasts Schapps. “A lot of the key leading lights were Brits.” Once the CAA is out, the United Kingdom will move on to negotiate the reciprocal recognition of certifications with other countries and blocs.
ADS Group, a trade organization which represents 1,100 companies in the British aerospace, defence, security and space sectors employing over 111,000 people, reacted negatively to the declaration of Shapps. “We have been clear that continued participation in EASA is the best option to maintain the competitiveness of our £36bn aerospace industry and our access to global export markets,” said ADS Chief Executive Paul Everitt, recalling the promise made by the government to try and conciliate with the EASA.
He adds: “UK influence in EASA contributes to raising standards in global aviation, supports collaboration with our international partners, and helps make our industry attractive to the investment it needs to be home to the development of a new generation of advanced aircraft technology.”
Airlines UK, the association that represents carriers such as easyJet and Ryanair, said it also supported continued membership of EASA, but only if the UK does not become a “dumb follower of EU rules”.
EASA, which did not react to the declaration, will give its decision in July 2020 regarding the extension of the “third country” status for a second “transition” year. AeroTime reached out to the regulator for comment but did not receive any reply at the time of publication.