Flights will continue in no-deal Brexit

Post Brexit flights continue

0 commentsMolly DysonThu, 7 Mar 2019 11:36

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Transport secretary Chris Grayling has confirmed that the UK will reciprocate the European Union’s arrangements for air travel in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

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Grayling said reaching an agreement with the EU is still the government’s top priority but that “a responsible government must plan for every eventuality”.

In a statement, Grayling commented: “Air travel is vital for both the UK and the EU in connecting people and businesses, facilitating tourism and trade. The UK and EU have a mutual interest in maintaining well-functioning aviation markets.”

The European Commission has proposed a regulation to ensure air connectivity in the event of a no-deal Brexit. A final draft of the proposal has been provisionally agreed by the EU and is expected to be confirmed shortly, according to Grayling.

This regulation is intended to apply after the UK leaves the EU and would entitle UK airlines to continue operating to and from the EU until March 2020.

Grayling has today published a policy statement to set out how the UK will provide permissions for EU airlines to operate to and from the UK. He said the UK will reciprocate on three key principles – providing certainty and reassurance to businesses and consumers, minimising the potential for disruption in any Brexit scenario and maintaining a “level playing field for UK industry, ahead of future negotiations”.

In addition, “to ensure the continuity of regional services and to minimise disruption”, the UK government will allow member state airlines to operate wholly in the UK until the end of the IATAsummer season – 27 October 2019 – to ensure continued regional connectivity and allow businesses time to “adjust to new arrangements”. Code sharing on existing services will also be allowed to continue.

The news has been welcomed by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), with CEO Mark Tanzer saying: “Today’s announcement provides further assurance that, whatever the outcome of Brexit, travellers can continue to book holidays and business trips with confidence.

“It’s worth remembering that if the UK and the EU agree a deal, we will be in a transition period and everything will stay the same for travel until the end of 2020 – meaning people can continue to travel to the EU exactly as they do now. While it is encouraging that plans are in place for a no-deal scenario, we encourage politicians to work to avoid a no-deal Brexit.”

Cameron prepares way for third runway at Heathrow Airport

Prime Minister David Cameron has completed his cabinet reshuffle and he has replaced Justine Greening as Transport Minister .

Greening is MP for Roehampton & Southfields, directly under the airport’s flight path , and her mission was to stop the development of a  third runway at Heathrow Airport .In the end she was only  able to prevent the government giving the green light in this parliament.

The question is now not when but how the Conservatives do a massive a u-turn on the third runway. It looks as if they want another enquiry to delay the decision until after the next election.

Patrick McLoughlin, who will take over as transport secretary, has declared he has an “open mind” on the expansion of Britain’s only hub airport, joining chancellor George Osborne in a cabinet which increasingly favours a third runway, with the business case trumping environmental concerns.

While the party will suffer in seats close to the airport, they have calculated the economic recovery must take precedence.

The business community has been baying for additional capacity to connect to growing markets in Asia and South America for years, and it now seems certain the Conservatives will include support for a third runway in their manifesto for the 2015 election.

Operating Heathrow as a ‘mixed-mode’ airport would increase capacity by as much as a quarter, but would again breach noise restrictions as planes approach from different directions.

Short-haul flights could also be barred from precious Heathrow landing slots, allowing only long-haul traffic to use limited resources. This might work in the short-term but is no solution.

Gatwick could be expanded, or even Stansted, with second runways at either. But, in reality, the UK can maintain only one hub airport.

‘Heathwick’ – a high-speed rail link between Gatwick and Heathrow – was swiftly rejected last year after being put forward by civil servants.

This would leave only  Boris’s fantasy island in the Thames.

Not only is the planned location in one of the most congested flight paths in Europe, on the approach to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, that path covers five separate Special Protection Areas packed with wildlife.

Environmentalists could delay the project for years, while birds would also be hazardous to planes.

Funding for the £40 billion project is also far from assured, with some even suggesting a levy on planes landing at Heathrow could be imposed: a hard sell to British Airways, which would effectively be asked to pay for the demolition of its established base.

As for the transport connections? After the years it took to have Crossrail approved, it is hard to imagine Boris Island and its required infrastructure being approved by 2050, if ever.

Brexit vote is a possibility in EU referendum on 23rd June 2016. The United Kingdom votes to either stay in the European Union or to leave it on 23rd June 2016 . Bitter divisons in the Conservative and Labour parties have been exposed in the debate leading up to the vote
Brexit vote is a possibility in EU referendum on 23rd June 2016. The United Kingdom votes to either stay in the European Union or to leave it on 23rd June 2016 . Bitter divisons in the Conservative and Labour parties have been exposed in the debate leading up to the vote

Outspoken as always, leading Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson rose to the challenge earlier, with a statement from the mayor exclaiming: “The third runway would mean more traffic, more noise, more pollution – and a serious reduction in the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people.

“We will fight this all the way. Even if a third runway was built, it would not do the job of meeting Britain’s needs.

“If we are to remain Europe’s premier business hub we need a new four-runway airport, preferably to the east of London, that addresses the problem of aviation capacity before it is too late, and business is driven into the arms of our European competitors.”

From the point of view of airports in Scotland like Edinburgh and Glasgow, any development which brings more passengers into Britain would be a good thing as  a proportion of those flyers will terminate their journey in Scotland.

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