UK to push for associate EASA membership post-Brexit

12 March 2018
UK Prime Minister Theresa May indicated that the UK would seek associate membership of EASA after Brexit in March 2019. Source: Getty

Prime Minister Theresa May has signalled that the UK government wishes to obtain associate membership of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) after the country leaves the European Union (EU) on 29 March 2019.

Speaking in London on 2 March 2018, she said that the United Kingdom would “of course” accept the need to abide by EASA rules “and making an appropriate financial contribution”.

These comments followed the release by the European Commission release of a draft UK-EU withdrawal agreement, including a transitional period to 31 December 2020 when EU laws would apply to the United Kingdom, including civil aviation rules on freedom of movement of people and air freight. The United Kingdom would remain a member of the EU customs union during the transition, but thereafter new arrangements would govern civil aviation, and these have yet to be agreed.

In her speech, May accepted that engagement with EASA was “critical” for the UK aviation industry to ensure that UK-manufactured equipment would “only need to undergo one series of approvals, in one country” for sale and use in EASA member countries. With associate membership, UK technical experts would also help EASA set and enforce aviation safety rules.

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