Aviation: Safety

Department for Transport written question – answered on 25th November 2021.

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Photo of Patrick Grady Patrick Grady Scottish National Party, Glasgow North

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish a response to Early Day Motion 614 on Aviation safety and licensing.

Photo of Robert Courts Robert Courts Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The UK Government recognises the essential commitment that aviation professionals have made to help secure the future of the Aviation industry, and that this is a time of uncertainty as the previous ways of working with Europe are changing. We continue to work closely with industry and stakeholders to ensure that we make best use of the opportunities we now have, to protect and enhance the sector’s skills and talent now and in the future as we recover from the Covid19 Pandemic.

The UK has now left the EU and EASA system and has agreed a high level Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), including an Annex on Aviation Safety. We maintain a productive dialogue with EASA and EU member states on aviation matters, and the Specialised Committee on Aviation Safety has been established.

The UK Government places the highest importance on ensuring that the opportunities arising from our exit from the EU are realised. Withdrawing from the EU means we have more autonomy to tailor aviation regulation according to the UK’s competitive needs, while also adhering to international standards. Should an agreement in the form of a further Annex on licensing be assessed to be in the UK’s overall interest, the Government could pursue this. However such an agreement would also require willingness from the EU, whose interest so far has been in implementing the current details of the TCA.

The UK Government cannot unilaterally commit to work that requires agreement from both parties. We will continue to work to ensure an effective licensing regime that supports UK aviation, to deliver effective implementation of the existing agreement with the EU, and to explore any possible future areas of co-operation.

The Department for Transport launched the Aviation Skills Retention Platform earlier this year, to offer support and help for UK license holders and the aviation sector. This platform will allow both current and former aviation sector workers who are currently out of work to register their skills, so they can be notified of relevant jobs opportunities, advice, and upskilling opportunities. This platform is a tool for the future, which will aim to retain vital skills within the industry and help address the skills gap that existed prior to the pandemic. The scheme is open to anyone from the aviation sector who is looking for a vacancy. More information can be found at: www.aviationtalent.co.uk

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