IATA warns of ‘no deal Brexit’ chaos

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for urgent action by the UK and the European Union to put in place contingency planning for the continuation of air services in the event of a ‘no-deal Brexit’, and to move much faster to bring certainty to three critical air transport issues:

  • The uninterrupted continuation of air connectivity
  • The framework for regulating safety and security, and
  • The policies and processes needed for efficient border management

"These are the most critical areas because there are no fallback agreements such as the WTO framework available in a ‘no-deal’ Brexit scenario,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and chief executive.
Even in the best-case scenario, where a Brexit transition phase is agreed for the period after March 2019, a high degree of uncertainty and risk to air services remains. A no-deal or "hard" Brexit outcome, without an agreement for a transition period, is likely to lead to significant disruption to air services. Moreover, the lack of transparency concerning any contingency planning for this scenario has left airlines completely in the dark as to what measures to take, IATA said.
The situation regarding goods is even more complex, with almost no clarity on customs arrangements. IATA believes the most likely scenario, even under a transition period, is for shipments to be delayed or disrupted, as new customs procedures become established.
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"Interference with the movement of people and goods will have a major and immediate knock-on impact to economic activity in both the UK and the EU. Solutions to minimise disruption are of paramount importance. We must have clarity on future border and customs arrangements now, if we are to plan for an orderly post-Brexit situation," said de Juniac.
Whatever Brexit scenario unfolds, IATA calls for the UK to remain in the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) at least as a ‘third country member’, and EASA and the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should be allowed to initiate detailed technical discussions on the future relationship between the two bodies.
Aviation security, for both passengers and cargo, will be highly impacted in case of a no deal scenario, IATA warns. When it comes to recognition of security measures, all parties should work towards a deal where the status quo is maintained, it said.
The full report Study of the effects of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union on airlines flying to and from the UK  is available to download from www.iata.org

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