Following the conclusion of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (post ‘Brexit’), the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) has today urged the relevant national authorities in Europe to eliminate administrative barriers, stating that it is ‘for the benefit of all those involved’.
EBAA is a trade body representing the European business aviation community. The organisation urges national authorities in Europe to implement schemes and practical solutions that will ensure the elimination of the administrative barriers for all Third Country Operators.
‘A lack of cooperation in this regard would result in a detrimental situation for the entire ecosystem and is not desirable given the unprecedented challenges the business aviation industry faces in the context of the Covid-19 crisis,’ said the EBAA in a statement.
Commenting on the current state of affairs, EBAA secretary-general, Athar Husain Khan said, “Given the amount of work invested by all parties involved in Brexit, it is unacceptable that industry and society alike have to operate with uncertainty for the future. All national authorities should cooperate for the benefit of all”.
Currently, the United Kingdom (UK) has put mechanisms in place, such as the Block Permit Scheme for ad hoc charter operations, to ensure business continuity for European business aviation operators wishing to fly to the UK. However, the facilities granted by UK authorities are limited in time, and conditional on obtaining reciprocal conditions, says EBAA.
‘If no further cooperation and bilateral agreements based on reciprocity follow soon, business aviation operators flying under the new Third Country Operator status will be heavily hampered in their ability to perform last-minute flights from the UK to the EU (third & fourth freedoms)’, read the EBAA statement.
A key selling point of business aviation is that it provides flexibility for travellers, with non-scheduled flights often organised at very short notice. EBAA is concerned that administrative barriers prevent operators from obtaining the required permits and authorisations in time, with the risk that flights cannot be operated, constituting a financial loss for the operator and a difference of treatment within the industry that the free trade agreement seeks to avoid.