By DebbieH 10 Jul 2019 7 min read

What does a no deal Brexit mean for aviation employment opportunities?


As the likelihood of a no deal Brexit increases we take a look at the possible impact on employment opportunities within the aviation industry.


What does no deal Brexit mean?

No deal basically means the United Kingdom would leave the European Union without any sort of agreement in place. The UK would instantly leave the single market and the customs union which are in place to simplify trading between EU members I.E. no checks or additional taxes/ tariffs.

In addition, the UK would exit the European Court of Justice, Europol and other institutions and also cease to be a member of numerous EU governing bodies which control standards and pricing.

Contributions to the EU Budget would also end which currently total £9bn a year.


What impact will this have on the aviation sector?

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has confirmed it wishes to remain a member of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) , however, this would be put in doubt if the UK exits the EU without a deal. The UK authority claims it is planning for every possible scenario but an independent national regulator is not considered viable at present.

Regardless of the Brexit outcome, the CAA has confirmed its intention to continue to adhere to EASA regulations; Switzerland currently operates within a similar agreement, known as Third Country Membership.

As part of this deal, Switzerland does not possess voting rights but as EASA operates using a consensus based system, the impact of not having a vote is minimal.

In addition to this, the UK would also need to acquire an Air Transport Agreement to secure access to EU member state airspace.


How will this affect employment within the industry?

If no deal has been secured when the UK exits the EU on the 31st October 2019, action may need to be taken by personnel employed within the aviation industry, such as ensuring appropriate safety certificates are obtained. This applies to aircrafts which are registered to any EASA member states and any action taken would be specific to the individual or role.

These roles are likely to include; commercial & private pilots, cabin crew, aircraft maintenance engineers, air traffic controllers and training providers/ examiners.

Experts in the industry are urging people employed within the aviation industry to act now in order to avoid any potential implications. Should the UK leave the EASA system, then personnel (in particular pilots) would need to convert to a new approved license. This would involve re-sitting exams which can take up to two years at a significant cost.

If you are currently employed within the aviation sector then it is advised to speak to your employer and review your current options in preparation for a no deal Brexit.