BREXIT: The airport impact

Keith Nuthall digests the 1,200-page Brexit deal to determine what the agreement means for airports in the UK and the EU

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BELOW:Luton-based easyJet has a significant presence within the EU 
Günter Wicker/Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg

While the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) continues to bring change to civil aviation across Europe, extensive air industry provisions mean that significant disruption at airports has so far been avoided.

Whether this relatively smooth start is due to near-zero passengers numbers amid COVID-19 lockdowns remains to be seen.

Within the 1,256-page EU/UK trade and co-operation agreement settled on Christmas Eve 2020, aviation has its own special 26-page section within the deal (from page 237) and there is also a 15-page annex that specifically covers airworthiness certification. This work has been recognised by the International

Air Transport Association (IATA), which said the agreement addressed the “significant implications for aviation” associated with Brexit and “settled most of these issues”.

“Passengers should not notice significant impediment to their travel between the UK and EU after December 31, 2020,” said an IATA note. This is aside from COVID-19 restrictions that are unrelated to the UK’s departure from the bloc; such health-related flight constraints are mandated by the deal and have already been invoked.

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