British aviation authorities insist there will be no disruption to the UK’s provision of air navigation services as a result of leaving the European Union without a deal.
In a series of technical notices which set out plans to be put into place in what the UK’s transport ministry says is the ‘unlikely’ situation the UK leaves the EU without a deal, it will continue to fulfil international obligations to provide air navigation services in accordance with standards and recommended practices set by ICAO under the Chicago Convention.
“As previously stated, the rights for airlines to operate air services over EU or UK territory are established by a longstanding worldwide treaty, the International Air Services Transit Agreement, which the UK and almost all EU countries are signatories to,” it said.
The UK would also remain a full member of Eurocontrol and contribute to its functions and services. Eurocontrol is an intergovernmental organisation of 41 countries designed to foster close co-operation in air traffic management across the wider European continent, and the UK’s participation in Eurocontrol would remain independent of EU membership.
The UK’s air navigation service provider NATS will continue to provide services to aircraft operating in the airspace in which NATS is licensed to operate. NATS will also continue to work collaboratively with neighbouring air navigation service providers to ensure the service is safe and efficient, principally through the UK’s Eurocontrol membership.
“The UK would continue to have a system of economic and performance regulation for NATS, but this would be delivered under the Transport Act 2000 rather than the EU Single European Sky (SES) Performance and Charging Scheme,” it said.
It added that the UK would no longer be able to directly participate in the EU’s SES initiative, which was designed to increase the efficiency of air navigation services across the EU.
The UK would however continue to work through Eurocontrol to ensure the safe and efficient management of airspace across its 41 members.
“The UK will continue to lead the way in providing safe and efficient air traffic control services. In addition, the Withdrawal Act would preserve existing EU safety, airspace, and interoperability regulations in domestic law,” it added.