Aviation law after Brexit: an overview

Aviation law after Brexit: an overview

The UK formally ceased being a member state of the EU on 31 January 2020. A transitional period, during which EU law continued to apply in the UK, ended on 31 December 2020 ('IP completion day'). IP completion day is the date that the majority of key domestic legal changes associated with Brexit took effect, including the full repeal of the European Communities Act 1972, incorporation of retained EU law into the domestic legal regime and commencement of associated Brexit legislation, including Brexit SIs.

The primary objective of the UK in securing Brexit was to remove the UK from the regulatory orbit of the European Union. As such, the UK was committed, in particular, to leaving the Single Market and the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the EU. This objective necessitated that future UK-EU cooperation on aviation matters and policy is much more restrictive than that subsisting when the UK was a member state of the EU. The UK and the EU now treat operators of aviation services from the other side as third country operators and thus they require to be formally recognised as offering comparable standards in order to operate in the relevant airspace.

Retained EU Law

The complexity of aviation law and policy, coupled with the short transition period in 2020, required that the UK had to largely roll over EU aviation law into UK law, in order to ensure continued seamless operation of aviation services after