Air Service Agreements Uk


December 2, 2020

It has been reported that discussions between the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) for a bilateral post-Brexit air services agreement (ASA) have run into difficulties, with US airlines operating these routes being “essentially owned and effectively controlled” by UK entities (and not by EU institutions, as is the case in current agreements). This poses problems for British airlines that have foreign goods. 240.The airlines that testified to this investigation strongly supported the priority given to the aviation sector and the separation of negotiations for a comprehensive bilateral air services agreement with the wider negotiations on withdrawal and future trade relations between Britain and the EU. We note that a separate bilateral agreement in this area may be in the mutual interest of the UK and the EU. However, the air services negotiations will only be part of a comprehensive and very complex negotiation. The EU has also negotiated horizontal agreements with 17 other non-ECAA countries. The horizontal agreements (including the EU-US Open Skies Agreement and the EU-Canada Air Agreement) cover areas such as airline access rights, passenger rights and investment. 235.First, there is an urgent need for the Government to clarify whether it intends to carry out future UK air services exchanges with the EU on the basis of ECAA membership or on the basis of a separate bilateral transport agreement. In the first case, it would be important for the UK to retain the right to vote in EU agencies such as EESA and sesar (which is not the case for current non-EU ECAA members) and to have access to existing open skiing agreements.

Future cooperation between the UK and the EU in the area of air transport will be the subject of negotiations. The UK government has said it hopes to conclude technical agreements with the EU in areas such as air transport or civil nuclear cooperation. Andrew Haines, Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the UK Aviation Supervisory Authority, has proposed that the UK should be able to negotiate individually with EuCAA member states in the absence of an agreement with the EU as a whole. This could allow the UK to circumvent certain EU rules and even court jurisprudence. The issue of Gibraltar could also be circumvented if no agreement is reached with Spain. However, it is not certain that this is compatible with EU law.

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