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Article from BTNews 28 SEPTEMBER 2020

Brexit - BBGA webinar

British Business General Aviation Association (BBGA) Chair and Air Law Firm Partner Aoife O'Sullivan set the tone during last week’s dedicated Brexit webinar, stating "it is not all doom and gloom. If there is a ‘no deal’ scenario, there has always been contingency legislation in the UK and Europe that can be brought back in to allow for continuity in aviation safety," she made clear.

“There isn’t going to be a drop-dead moment on 1 January (when the UK leaves the EU),” said David Kendrick, the UK CAA’s Head of Licensing, noting flights will still be going backward and forward, in the absence of a deal.

Market access is a concern, however.  Notably, how many of the nine aviation freedoms will be accessible to British operators. Fifth and Sixth Freedoms enable operators to fly between two foreign countries on flights originating or ending in their own country or having made a stop in their own country – vital for non-scheduled (business aviation operators) and scheduled airlines.

David Harding, Department for Transport (DfT) Deputy Director for General Aviation noted cabotage traffic rights are unlikely to be maintained at the end of the transition period.  Instead, operators will have to request permission for individual flights.  The CAA’s Rob Bishton and David Kendrick said the agency was prepping to assume full national responsibility for regulating UK aviation, once the departure from EASA is complete.  Thereafter, it will have the autonomy to develop its own regulations.   

Adrian Jones, Director at tax and import/export advisors Martyn Fiddler Aviation, suggested the UK can be a ‘favoured location’ for closing aircraft sales transactions – good for brokers, lawyers and financiers. Unlike the Channel Islands and Switzerland, closings would take place outside Europe, yet the aircraft wouldn’t have to be imported into the UK (for tax reasons) with the right warehousing arrangements in place.


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