In efforts to minimize any potential Brexit backlash, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on the UK and the EU to take immediate actions to ensure the uninterrupted continuation of air connectivity, safety and security, and efficient border management before the UK exits the EU on March 29.
“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 IATA director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.
“Without any contingency planning being made transparent to the industry, the risks of not addressing these issues could mean chaos for travelers and interrupted supply chains. With less than six months to go, we have little more certainty than we did in June 2016,” said de Juniac.
IATA underlines that even in the best-case scenario – an agreed upon Brexit transition phase for the period after March 2019 – a high degree of uncertainty and risk to air services remains, which may lead to disruption to air services, while the lack of transparency is making matters even worse.
At the same time, IATA is urging the UK to remain in the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) irrespective of the Brexit negotiation outcome and to ensure the mutual recognition of professional licences, standards for materials and parts, among others.
According to IATA, issues with the most significant impact and the least clarity, requiring immediate readdress are: air services agreements, safety framework, aviation security and border management. Following – to a lesser extent – are air traffic management, environment, labor, slots, consumer protection, and ground handling competition.
IATA represents 290 airlines, which in total account for 82 percent of all global air traffic.