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UK, EU aviation regulators should be allowed to start Brexit planning - trade body

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By Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s aerospace trade body ADS has written to the European Commission for the second time in four months to urge it once again to allow British and European airline regulators to begin technical planning for Brexit.

Aviation is one sector that could be most severely impacted by Brexit, as there is no default fallback option for the industry if there is no agreement on future relations after Britain leaves the EU in March 2019.

ADS said in a letter that bilateral discussions between the UK Civil Aviation Agency and European Aviation Safety Agency EASA were needed to ensure passenger safety, amongst other things. It said technical bilateral talks had already been held between the CAA and regulators in the U.S., Canada and Brazil.

“As long as the Commission blocks similar bilateral technical discussions between the CAA and EASA, it fosters uncertainty and risks legal liability, insurance and passenger safety issues for the global aviation and aerospace industry,” ADS said in a letter addressed to the European Commission.

“Allowing discussions now would significantly reduce potential for disruption to EU businesses and consumers,” it added.

Britain has said it wants to remain part of EASA after leaving the bloc on March 29, 2019 but it is not clear whether this will be possible.

Concerns are building within the aviation industry about a potential no-deal Brexit scenario which could result in flights being grounded and Britain needing to take over safety and regulatory processes currently handled by EASA.

ADS first requested that British and European airline regulators be allowed to begin technical planning for Brexit in June, but that request was rejected the following month. The trade body says the British government has also made the same request.

Separately on Tuesday, Sky News reported that the CAA is making plans to reissue pilot licences and other related documents if the UK is no longer part of EASA after Brexit.

The CAA could not immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Sarah Young, editing by Ed Osmond)