The UK will have no choice but to leave the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) after Brexit, according to reports that EU negotiators are taking a hardline on aviation.
“UK membership of EASA is not possible,” the European Commission said in a recent presentation. The main reason is that the UK has ruled out accepting the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
This raises the possibility of the UK CAA having to create new departments to certify aircraft and parts, as well as operating its own licensing regime for pilots and maintenance engineers.
So far, the line of the UK government and the CAA has been to remain part of EASA after Brexit in March 2019.
“It makes no sense to recreate a national regulator,” said CAA Chief Executive Andrew Haines last September. “At best, you replicate the vast majority of European regulation, and you’d have to do it over an extended period of time. At worst, you create unnecessary barriers.”
ADS, the trade association for UK aerospace industry, estimates it could take approximately 5-10 years for the CAA to rebuild its safety regulation capability to fill in those responsibilities which EASA currently holds.
“Remaining a member of EASA is a more cost-effective and practical solution to maintain safety and competitiveness,” said a spokesperson.