/ Effect of Brexit on private/business aircraft’s operation.

With the Brexit transition period coming to an end on the 31st December 2020 there’s undoubted concern about the possibility of the UK’s non-negotiated exit from the EU and its possible effects on the operation of your aircraft. Negotiations regarding aviation legislation are still ongoing between the UK and EU, but we have recently received an update from the UK Civil Aviation Authority. In that communiqué they have advised that irrespective of whatever is agreed any legislation would not be in place in time for the 1st January 2021 deadline.

Therefore, as of the 1st January it is very possible, we will have a non-negotiated exit of the EU and this will have two profound effects;

Any aircraft imported via the UK for free circulation within the EU will potentially lose access to that free circulation within the EU.

All British operators will be view as “Third Country Operators,” the main effect being that all EU charter flights will now require permits before departure (does not affect private flights).

First looking at Charter movements, in a non-negotiated Brexit scenario all UK operators could lose access to the long standing “Open-Skies” agreement within Europe that permitted commercial operations between any two points within the EU that the operator desired. UK operators will continue to be allowed to operate commercially to and from mainland Europe on the proviso that;

  • The UK operator has obtained an “EASA Third Country Operator Approval”
  • Landing Permits are obtained from Destination/Origin country
  • Any commercial operation either starts or finishes within the United Kingdom
  • We are pleased to advise that we have already applied for and have been pre-approved as an EASA Third Country Approved Operator. We will therefore be able to continue to operate charters to and from the European mainland immediately following the transition period from the 1st January, subject to permit approvals.

    Regarding permits please note that negotiations are ongoing at both European Union level and with the 27 member states, and it is hoped that the majority can be persuaded that there is benefit in a block permit system. This is where we will apply in advance for blanket permit approval to each of the 27 member states to cover any potential charter to and from UK.

    It must be stressed however that this block charter arrangement has not yet been agreed. We must therefore assume that immediately following the transition period on the 1st January that permits will need to be requested on a trip-by-trip basis, making it more difficult to operate at short notice. We have been in contact with most of the civil aviation authorities around the EU in order to obtain their permit application procedures and processing lead time. Most EU countries are reporting a 2-3 working-day lead time in order to process and issue the relevant charter permits for any given trip and up to 30 days for some countries.

    We are hearing some positive information from the UK Civil Aviation Authority that they are looking to retain some access to the Open-Skies agreement, to continue to allow for intra-EU charter’s negating the need for a charter to start or end within the UK. However, with nothing currently in agreed form we must assume it won’t be immediately available to us come the 1st January.

    For aircraft owners with their aircraft available for charter we would advise that if your aircraft loses access to the intra-European market, not to be too worried as the majority of our AOC charters are already originating or terminating within the UK and with EU operators also losing access to the UK market we are not expecting a large drop in demand for your aircraft.

    With this information in mind the basic advice to passenger is;

    / Private Passengers

    No change, your trips can continue without any noticeable impact.

    / Charter Passengers

    Please provide as much advance notice as possible of a trip (a minimum of 3 days) in order to allow sufficient time for permit applications to be made and processed.

    Noting Intra-EU charters (i.e Paris to Nice) may not be possible without a beginning or end of the trip occurring within the UK.