Flying to Europe after Brexit

By | Category: Travel rumblings
the south rreminal at Gatwick

Gatwick – all grounded if the UK/EU talks on flights aren’t resolved

About two week’s ago, the EU issued a document pointing out the flying arrangements that currently exist between the UK and the EU would cease the day the UK withdraws from the EU. It was factual if not a little scary as it points out that, from that day, planes will not be able to fly into EU unless the airline is registered in the EU and its ownership is held within the EU.

BALPA, the British Airline Pilots’ Association issued a press release saying that UK flights to the EU will be grounded in March 2019 should no agreement be reached and that the government should sort out air traffic rights now.  The CAA has said nothing and nor has the government as far as I am aware.

Do we know that the British government is discussing air traffic issues yet? Why did the EU issue this document now? Why not earlier or in six months’ time? Did the EU issue this “clarification” because it felt that such discussions aren’t progressing and it was a spur to start the ball rolling?

The truth is that we will probably never know despite what either side might say to clarify the position.

I, with all the naivety of a non-Brexit negotiator, don’t see it as a major problem since a flying ban would hurt both sides. For passenger and cargo travel a deal similar to the one that exists between the USA and the EU would be satisfactory. The world is divided into Flight Information Regions and the ones controlled by the UK stretch to the French and Dutch coastlines, well above Scotland and out into the Atlantic. At present some 6,000 flights a day from all parts of the world pass through UK airspace. To stop those flying into and out of Europe would cause European based airlines time in re0routing and extra fuel costs. It is in no-one’s interests to adopt an intransigent approach although sometimes you could be forgiven that politicians, as opposed to pragmatic, do.

Some UK carriers such as IAG and easyJet have taken steps to have bases in EU countries. Others like Aer Lingus, KLM and Ryanair which are large players in the UK are overseas based anyway. Will they be banned from flying into and out of the UK?

All that is needed is some common sense and sometimes, you wonder, if that is what politicians have.


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