BBGA update on DfT/CAA progress post BREXIT
27 January, 2021
I would like to give you an update on our weekly discussions with the DfT negotiation team on permits. This week we have seen a range of responses from our members which are helping us and the negotiating team build a really good picture as to what is happening. There are certainly some member states who are being very supportive with the new process and we have seen permits being granted where that might not have been expected. Indeed, since the last brief, at least 6 Member States are now accepting permit free 3rd and 4th Freedom flights, so we are progressing, albeit slower than we would all wish.
Unfortunately, we have seen some member states being very process focused, making approvals somewhat protracted at best. However, the DfT have shared examples with us where they have helped facilitate 7th Freedom flights within the EU. So we just want to reinforce that the DfT team is available to help as per the contacts given previously.
The other important point to make is that there are particular efforts being made by some member states to deliver better service than the projected 48 hours detailed in the application. In fact we can confirm that the French have been supporting applications outside business hours, which is really positive to hear. Therefore, we encourage members not to be put off by the initial requirements that you might have seen: things are evolving and we urge you to make an approach rather than lose your business and advise us of the outcome. DfT can then use it as an example of best practice within the Trade and Cooperation Agreement when negotiating with less helpful member states.
The DfT team have been in discussion this week with member states and will also be having informal discussions with the EU, to see if anything can be done to simplify and standardise the process. They are also keen to ensure compliance with other EU requirements when finalising each bi-lateral agreement.
Please keep sending in your examples of good and bad permit applications, plus don’t forget anything that prevents you contracting for work you have previously secured. Finally if you find yourself utilising wet leases or sub-contracts to complete a task, then our colleagues at the DfT are very keen to hear examples.