EASA notification for UK organisations to apply for certain Third Country approvals

On 2nd October, EASA issued a notice to say they have decided to allow UK organisations holding certain approvals to apply to EASA for Third Country approval.

This would enable UK organisations holding these approvals to continue operations after a No Deal Brexit; in the event of a No Deal UK-held approvals will no longer be recognised by EASA. A list of the relevant approvals is on the EASA webpage.

We would encourage all ADS members to see which of these apply to them, and consider applying in order to be sure of holding a valid EASA approval in the event of a No Deal Brexit.

In the absence of further information from EASA, our presumption is that these applications will be completed as quickly as possible by EASA, and UK organisations which have been processed would be issued with Third Country approvals immediately after 29 March 2019 in order to maintain business and regulatory continuity. This would be because as long as the UK is in the EU, UK-based organisations cannot hold Third Country approvals.

Organisations should retain their UK approvals in order to access any of the Bilateral Air Safety Agreements concluded between the UK and third countries in the event of a No Deal, as a third country approval from EASA would not grant access to either EU or UK bilateral agreements.

This is important step by EASA, as in the event of a No Deal Brexit, EASA approvals held by the UK would become automatically invalid overnight.

Although EASA states that “the EU institutions have been actively engaged in identifying and putting in place possible preparedness measures”, it is not helpful to industry if these are implemented unilaterally. The appropriate regulators need to have technical conversations in order to test their assumptions and engage in joint planning to maintain passenger safety and business continuity.

There has still been no communication between EASA and the CAA, but the CAA are continuously reviewing the FAQs on their EU Exit microsite and it should be updated to take account of the EASA information by the end of the week. The microsite will continue to be regularly updated every week to account for further developments and information known.

ADS is continuing our efforts to encourage the Commission to remove their embargo on technical conversations between EASA and the CAA.