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EBAA says cooperation is key in enabling TCOs to fly
The UK has put mechanisms in place such as the Block Permit Scheme for ad hoc charter operations to ensure business continuity for European operators wishing to fly to the UK. More concrete agreements are needed.

The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) is urging national authorities in Europe to put in place schemes and practical solutions ensuring the elimination of the administrative barriers for all Third Country Operators. EBAA cites a lack of cooperation to eliminate administrative barriers following the conclusion of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, highlighting it is for the benefit of all those involved.

A lack of cooperation in this regard could result in a detrimental situation for the entire ecosystem and is undesirable given the challenges the business aviation industry faces in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.

EBAA secretary general Athar Husain Khan notes: “Given the amount of work invested by all parties involved in Brexit, it is unacceptable that industry and society alike have to operate with uncertainty for the future. All national authorities should cooperate for the benefit of all.”

Currently, the UK has put mechanisms in place, such as the Block Permit Scheme for ad hoc charter operations, to ensure business continuity for European business aviation operators wishing to fly to the UK. However, the facilities granted by UK authorities are limited in time and conditional on obtaining reciprocal conditions.

If no further cooperation and bilateral agreements based on reciprocity follow soon, business aviation operators flying under the new Third Country Operator status will be hampered in their ability to perform last-minute flights from the UK to the EU (third and fourth freedoms).

Business aviation provides flexibility and non-scheduled flights are often organised at very short notice, says the EBAA. Administrative barriers prevent operators from obtaining the required permits and authorisations in time with the risk that flights cannot be operated, constituting a financial loss for the operator and a difference of treatment within the industry that the agreement seeks to avoid.