This risk disappeared following the approval of the withdrawal agreement, but in the air transport sector, planning could prove decisive if the transition period ends without agreement on future trade agreements between the UK and the EU. 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. Moreover, it would be very complex and tedious to conclude agreements that all offer nine freedoms. As has already been foreseen, the air services agreement would benefit from basic connectivity between the EU and the UK (i.e. the third and fourth free services between the two parties, in addition to the seventh freedoms for EU airlines, from each EU Member State to the UK). The UK has also proposed granting EU airlines fifth freedom rights for freight rights to third countries. Since the EU referendum, the CAA has made it clear that it views the most positive outcome for UK consumers and the aviation sector as an outcome in which the UK continues to participate in the EEA system and where existing mutual recognition systems between the UK and EAS Member States are maintained.
Prior to the ratification of the withdrawal agreement, which does not cover the future relationship between the UK and the EU (only the immediate conditions for its withdrawal), the risk of a shadowy Situation of Brexit had emerged after the day of departure. The CAA has developed a microsite that should be a central source of information for the aerospace industry on what steps it should take to not prepare for UK-EU aviation security agreements and to have no mutual recognition at the end of the transition period. We will keep this microsite up to date during the negotiations.