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Brexit and general aviation, UK leaving EASA, etc (merged)

here’s only one thing worse than self-aggrandising politicians and that’s unelected self-aggrandising politicians.

And equally disposed bureaucrats.

Living in Switzerland, I still do retain a certain level of faith in democracy, as we still have the rights to referendum and initiative. If I see the laws the popular vote rejected and popular movements accepted in recent years, I can honestly tell you that if we did not have this possibility, this country would be a very different place. I am well aware of the fact that only few people who have not experienced this kind of democracy can understand why these popular rights are so overwhelmingly important. Well, looking at this mess which any self respecting dog would refuse to call a breakfast now evident in most European and quite a few other countries, I hope it becomes clearer.

Last Edited by Mooney_Driver at 02 Dec 19:44
LSZH, Switzerland

UK leaving the EU??? This will have to take place while there is still a UK – spring/summer 2014.

EGPE, United Kingdom

I’m for staying in EASA because I think another change of regulatory rules would be the final nail in the GA coffin.

The fact that EASA has over regulated, over priced and had a negative effect on safety is very clear to all but the system is in place and the Likes of AOPA & LAA at least have a framework to put pressure on those people in EASA who so badly mis regulate the business.

Having talked to people at the top of the LAA there is a feeling that pressure is starting to build up on EASA, the UK government has this red tape challenge thing going on to reduce over regulation and the American light aircraft revitalisation bill is another source of indirect pressure on EASA.

At the moment EASA is a body that is unfit to regulate and this is becoming increasingly clear to all but the hard line Undemocratic wing of the EEC who will change their tune as soon as the meal ticket is in danger of being taken away.

‘The danger is, as it has been proven in countless bloody wars in Europe, that Germany and the rump EU would not look at such acts kindly and do their damnest to reverse it.’

Hopefully nothing to do with wars, but it is as the EU did with Ireland, when they rejected Europe in their first referendum, so Brussels insisted on a second one while doing all the PR to ensure the nation came to its senses. Try that one after a General Election when you don’t get the result you wanted, unless you run some despotic African state.

EASA was established as a result of ‘The European Dream’ not because it could contribute to the development or safety of aviation. It is a project of bureaucratic ambition, nothing else. Can any one tell me what good it has produced for any pilot or aircraft owner or operator? It has undoubtedly increased our costs, made regulations that are both difficult to interpret unless you test them in the Courts and are too complex for non-bureaucrats to understand and most importantly are unwelcome.

Think of the parallel of a car driving licence; if we were told that we could only drive certain models of BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Alfa or Fiat if we all pay for a new European licence, that takes months of scrutiny to achieve, but can still drive British cars with our UK licences there would be a riot, and sales of anything but UK vehicles would decline drastically. But despite having had a UK flying licence, with multi, IMC and IR ratings since I was 17, I am now told I can’t fly my own, or many other aircraft unless I apply and pay for a new EASA one. That is not a democratically produced regulation; it is an example amongst other areas of my life which have been subtly controlled and is why I challenge the true purpose of the EU and its effects.

Mooney Driver: … resulting in probably 3-4 different power blocks in Europe. I’d bet on one centered around Germany, possibly another centered around France, …

Maybe. But there will be no splitting-up between Germany and France. Never. We started this EU thing together and we will be the last ones to hold it together. And especially concerning aviation, as we have been equal partners in the European aerospace industry for decades now. Inseparable. If the EU ever splits, I rather think we will go back to the original six founding nations (France, Italy, Be-Ne-Lux and Germany). And I can’t imagine that countries like Austria, Slovenia, Malta, or Poland really want to be outside the EU again.

What I don’t understand is the (let’s call it “naive” without wanting to insult anybody) hope of our British pilots that things are going to improve for them, bureaucracy-wise, when the UK leaves the EU/EASA. The British CAA has always been among the most nitpicking, time-consuming, expensive and prosecuting aviation authorities in Europe (at least from what I heard and read). Quite a few Englishmen have even registered their aeroplanes in Germany in the past to avoid the British CAA. So why should things improve then?

Last Edited by what_next at 02 Dec 22:07
EDDS - Stuttgart

I just think the UK leaving will make it impossible to fly from the UK and get decent food anymore. We will be stuck with horrible British airfield food.

EGTK Oxford


I’ve been in business since 1978 and the only thing which the UK’s EU membership has clearly done to help me is that I can send a package to say Germany with just an address label, whereas to Switzerland (or USA, etc) I have to include a commercial invoice (or five of them).

Other small differences are that if I receive money from Germany, we lose £6 in bank charges, whereas from the USA we lose about £15.

But that also tells me that leaving the EU – whatever your views on it – would not bring the whole roof down. Any business – even my present 2-person one – will be exporting to non EU destinations, so needs to be able to do the extra admin already. Big business will always rent out its grandmother to a brothel to earn an extra penny for its execs, so they are totally in favour of total integration of the known universe, but really if it came to the crunch they would just deal with it. Just like they deal with business outside the EU right now…

On aviation, I think the UK would not stick a finger up to EASA. They would implement most of it but probably not all of it.

But the EU is not the massively arrogant body it was a few years ago. They still like to bully everybody, and the massive expense-fuelled gravy train is not going to stop rolling, but had it not been for its near-disintegration (thanks to Greece, and others) we would not have the IMC Rating now in the UK. I think EASA would have carried on with more mad regs and probably killed off private GA totally by forcing a 12 year engine life or some other thing like that.

Dublinpilot’s point about Ireland is interesting and complex, but we already have the stupid 12hr notice to fly to/from there, at the UK end of the flight at least. A 24hr notice at their end, in some cases. I can’t see how it could get any worse. Those notice periods are purely-100% a job creation/protection scheme for loads of police employees; they serve no security purpose because they can be trivially bypassed by travelling via say France.

The UK is not going to join schengen anytime in the likely future so we will need to fly to/from a Customs airport anyway, as now.

The UK is a massive trading partner of most EU countries and that isn’t going to stop. There aren’t going to be import duties on most stuff. How does Switzerland work it? I export a lot there and I don’t think they pay any import duty. Same with Norway; another big customer of mine.

So I don’t see a vast amount changing if the UK left the EU. Economically or for us pilots.

The UK CAA has also changed. They are not as arrogant as they once were and I think they are more pro-GA now. However a huge number of competent people have left in recent years, which is evident in their poor customer service – try to get an answer from them on a point of law… hopeless. I think EASA has made them more careful, forcing a lot of gold plating to be removed.

But I don’t think the UK will leave the EU. People will back off at the last moment. But, as with Scotland leaving the UK, there is no certainty, either way.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

But I don’t think the UK will leave the EU.

That’s difficult to predict, especially if it will be decided by plebiscite. Who controls the mass media controls that decision. Obviously, British mass media are very much against the EU so anything can happen.

The UK is not going to join schengen anytime in the likely future so we will need to fly to/from a Customs airport anyway, as now.

In order to fly to non-Schengen but EU member states all you need is border police or a radio operator with certain privileges. That can be done now from most German airfields, even small ones, during their normal opening hours. The requirement for customs (Switzerland, UK) makes it much more difficult, because usually prior notice is required (three working days in some cases!) which can make life difficult for us business aviators. The UK leaving the EU would make no difference for business aviation because it is already non-Schengen, customs mandatory and a different currency as well, so maximum possible hassle. It can’t get worse than that (well, at least not unless they require visa and fingerprinting…).

There aren’t going to be import duties on most stuff. How does Switzerland work it?

There are EU import duties on agricultural products that affect Switzerland. Those wouldn’t probably hit the UK very hard I suppose. But AFAIK there is a 10% import duty on cars from non-EU states which most probably would make English cars unsellable within the EU.

For me as a (commercial) pilot the big change was the switch from national regulations to JAR-FCL. What came after that (EU-FCL, EASA-FCL) brought only very minor changes. The same with JAR-OPS which effectively terminated most small two-person, two-aeroplane AOC operators everywhere, including my own one. And this had absolutely nothing to do with the EU!

Last Edited by what_next at 03 Dec 09:25
EDDS - Stuttgart

But I don’t think the UK will leave the EU.

“Events dear boy, events” Who knows what will happen

EIWT Weston

Indeed, I think an exit referendum has a significant chance of passing (and am a neutral). Far more emotion in the Exit Europe camp and as we know, when groups are more emotional, they tend to get out and vote. When voting is not compulsory, this can lead to a significant advantage to those groups. Witness the relative success of extremeist political parties vs their actual support base.

Last Edited by JasonC at 03 Dec 10:24
EGTK Oxford
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