8 FEBRUARY 2021
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‘Standard’ bilateral agreements on permits to travel within the EU, which are currently hampering UK charter operators, are looking unlikely, according to the British Business General Aviation Association’s (BBGA) CEO Marc Bailey.
Since the first week of January, Bailey and a number of BBGA board members, including Brian Humphries of Signature Flight Support, have held weekly discussions with the Department for Transport (DfT) and UK CAA negotiation teams on the permit situation.
Bilateral discussions have been held with each member state to try to secure an even playing field for UK business aviation operators with G-registered aircraft. Discussions were prohibited before the UK exited the transition period.
“The goal is to encourage reciprocity in whatever shape the final agreement takes with each individual country,” Bailey told Corporate Jet Investor. “However, it has become clear that each EU state is different and a ‘standard’ bilateral agreement isn’t looking likely. The negotiating team are calling on their experience to deliver the best result on behalf of the UK and our industry,” he adds.
The fact that BBGA has been able to speak with both regulators and share members’ experience each week is testament to the close relationship BBGA enjoys for its 180-plus membership.
“We are all pushing for securing an equal playing field. Some EU states are making heavy work of it even on the straight-forward third and fourth freedoms. A 48-hour application period; heightened security and an initial application fee of €4,000 is simply not conducive to swift, non-scheduled commercial operations, primarily used by business executives, doing business overseas,” Bailey said.
The matter is expected to be discussed at the BBGA Virtual AGM which is on 4 March 09:00 to 17:00.
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