Date laid: 26 November 2018
Parliamentary procedure: affirmative
These draft Regulations, laid by the Department for Transport, are intended to ensure that the legal framework on aviation safety continues to function correctly after exit day. They transfer powers from the European Commission (“the Commission”) to the Secretary of State and the existing functions of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). In the event of ‘no deal’ with the EU, EASA issued licences, certificates and approvals will be valid in the UK for two years and, after that, all organisations and individuals will need CAA issued licences, certificates and approvals. The Commission has confirmed that licences, certificates and approvals previously issued by the CAA before exit day will no longer be automatically accepted in the EASA system after 29 March 2019.
We draw these Regulations to the attention of the House as the EU will not reciprocate mutual recognition of licences, certificates and approvals issued in the UK from exit day and industry will need to be aware and plan accordingly. The House may also wish to ask the Minister how the CAA will deal with the additional responsibilities.
We draw these Regulations to the special attention of the House on the ground that they give rise to issues of policy interest likely to be of interest to the House.
6.The EU Basic Regulation established a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), made further provision on the establishment of a comprehensive aviation safety regulatory system in the EU, and conferred powers on the European Commission (“the Commission”) to give effect to requirements in the Convention on International Civil Aviation (“the Chicago Convention”). Further EU technical regulations and legislation have developed different aspects of aviation safety regulation.
7.EASA is responsible for:
8.The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), as the independent specialist aviation regulator in the UK, is responsible for the certification and oversight activities of individuals or organisations based in the UK.
9.These Regulations, laid by the Department for Transport (DfT), are accompanied by an Explanatory Memorandum (EM). In addition, we asked the DfT for clarification on a number of points , the answers to which are set out in this Report. The Regulations should also be read alongside the Government’s technical guidance Aviation safety if there’s no Brexit deal (“the Government’s Guidance”).
10.The Regulations are intended to ensure that the legal framework on aviation safety continues to function correctly after exit day and the UK will continue to have the same technical requirements and standards as the EASA system on exit day.
11.The Regulations transfer powers from the Commission to the Secretary of State to amend or adopt new requirements on safety.
12.The Regulations also provide for the CAA to carry out the responsibilities currently being exercised by EASA. They relate to technical rulemaking, and to the certification and oversight of products (including product design) and of organisations (such as maintenance and flight training organisations) based in third countries previously overseen by EASA.
13.DfT has explained that:
“The CAA has been implementing a comprehensive contingency plan to ensure that it continues to deliver a high quality aviation safety regulatory regime. The additional functions they would need to undertake are limited to aircraft design certification, certification for third country organisations (e.g production, maintenance, training) providing goods and services into the UK, and safety authorisations for foreign air carriers. The majority of the additional work required by the CAA to prepare for Brexit is on areas in which they already have the responsibility and capability.”
14.In the event of ‘no deal’ with the EU, the mutual recognition of licences, certificates and approvals will cease to apply. On exit day, all licences, certificates and approvals issued by EASA (or by a Member State) before 29 March will be treated as if issued by the CAA. However, all licences, certificates and approvals, other than those relating to type approvals, are to be subject to a maximum validity period of two years (unless they expire or otherwise become invalid).
15.After this two-year transition period, all organisations and individuals will need CAA issued licences, certificates and approvals. The cost will be dependent on the type of certificate and the DfT has clarified that the application processes will remain the same as at present.
16.DfT has explained in the EM that this two-year period “is intended to provide continuity for industry and facilitate a smooth transition to the new regulatory regime”; however, “to provide effective safety regulation of the UK system, the CAA will need to be directly responsible for the regulation of those involved in it.”
17.From exit day, organisations and individuals who do not hold a current licence, certificate or approval will need to obtain the relevant licence, certificate or approval from the CAA.
18.We asked DfT if the CAA has the resources in place to deal with this increase in applications as well as undertaking its new functions referred to at paragraph 12 above. DfT explained:
“59 additional staff are required by 29 March, 38 are already in post and are qualified and experienced to undertake their duties. The CAA operates on the basis of cost recovery in form of schemes of charges paid by industry. On an exceptional basis, DfT granted £2.7m to the CAA in financial year 18/19.”
19.The House may wish to ask the Minister what assessment the Government have made of the impact of the costs to obtain new or renewed licences, certificates and approvals will be on organisations and individuals; and what guidance the Government will provide to assist organisations and individuals who need to apply for new licences, certificates or approvals or renew them in due course.
20.We acknowledge that the CAA has put contingency measures in place to deal with the additional responsibilities it will undertake. However, the House may also wish to seek assurances from the Government that all applications for new licences, certificates and approvals will be processed by the CAA in time for exit day and all existing licences, certificates and approvals will be renewed within two years to enable aviation operations to continue smoothly.
21.The Commission has issued a notice confirming that certificates previously issued by the CAA before exit day would no longer be automatically accepted in the EASA system after 29 March 2019. The Government’s Guidance states that:
“Those certificates would have been issued in accordance with EU rules, and UK aviation will remain as safe the day after exit as it was the day before exit, so the UK encourages the EU to take reciprocal action in recognising UK-issued certificates.”
22.Pilot licences issued under EU Regulations by an authority other than the CAA must be validated by the CAA before being used outside the UK on a UK registered aircraft. The EM explains that these validations will be automatic and the CAA does not intend to charge for this service.
23.We asked DfT how pilot licences will be validated and how many pilots will be affected. DfT explained:
“A general validation will be issued by the CAA [immediately after] the SI enters into force and it will be downloadable free of charge from the CAA website. We do not know how many people will be affected as non UK EASA licence holders are not required to notify use when flying UK registered aircraft. The regime that will apply in the event of a no deal exit from the EU have been set out in the technical notice issued by the Department and the CAA are providing further information to industry.”
24.Again, the Commission has confirmed that any pilot licences issued by the CAA will not be valid on exit day, and therefore holders of a UK issued licences will need to transfer their licence to another EASA state if they wish to operate aircraft registered in the EASA system.
25.Licensed engineers and cabin crew attestations issued in an EASA Member State will continue to be valid in the UK in accordance with paragraphs 9 above. However, the EU has indicated that licences and attestations issued by the CAA will no longer be valid for use with EU operators after exit day.
26.Certificates and approvals for aircraft production and aircraft maintenance issued by an EASA authority will remain valid for the transitional period in accordance with paragraph 14 above. This enables any new EU certified parts to be fitted on UK registered aircraft and enables UK registered aircraft to be maintained by organisations and engineers holding an EASA certificate for up to two years after exit day.
27.However, the EU has indicated that it will not recognise approvals which are issued by the CAA. This means that parts manufactured and certified by organisations approved by the CAA can not be installed on EU registered aircraft, and maintenance organisations which are approved by the CAA will be unable to perform maintenance on EU registered aircraft. The Government’s Guidance explains that:
“The affected organisations could be approved as third country production organisations by EASA. However, EASA has yet to provide the details for how and when it would process applications from UK manufacturers in advance of the UK leaving the EU.”
28.Third country airlines require a safety authorisation from the EASA. If there is ‘no deal’ on EU exit, UK air carriers would become third country operators under EU legislation and would be required to apply for, and hold, an EASA issued safety approval. The Government’s Guidance indicates that:
“EASA has yet to provide the details for how and when it would process applications from UK airlines in advance of the UK leaving the EU. The UK however would expect the recognition of equivalent safety standards to be on a reciprocal basis.”
29.All foreign operators flying to the UK would require a safety approval issued by the CAA before they can operate commercial services to the UK. EASA issued authorisations to airlines outside the EU would remain valid in the UK for up to two years after the UK leaves the EU. However, as EU airlines do not hold EASA issued authorisations they would have to obtain a safety approval from the CAA now that EU operators will become foreign operators under UK legislation.
30.As the Government’s Guidance explains:
“The CAA will consider each application for a UK Part-TCO authorisation on a case-by-case basis, but in principle, an airline that holds a valid EASA Air Operator Certificate would be considered as having met the qualifying requirements to hold such an approval. The UK would expect this recognition of equivalent safety standards to be reciprocated by the EU in its ‘Part-TCO’ authorisations.”
31.We asked the DfT what assessment has been made of the impact on UK industry by the EU not reciprocating the recognition of certificates, licences or approvals. The department explained:
“… the impact is being considered as part of our contingency planning. We are providing information through the technical notices and the CAA website to help licence holders to determine what action would be appropriate in their individual circumstances.
Individuals applying for licences etc will have to apply for a licence from a EU/EAA state so any cost will depend on the state to which they apply. A large number of professional pilot licence and maintenance engineer licence holders are transferring their licences to other Member States, particularly Austria and Ireland. The CAA has employed extra staff to help facilitate those transfers.
Organisations (such as maintenance, flight training and production organisations) based in the UK will need an EASA approval if they want to provide products or services to the EU. Applications from such organisations will follow the normal EASA procedures for third country applications although EASA has indicated that they will be processed in a streamlined way. EASA has also indicated that the fee for applications covered by the streamlined process will be €1,768. This is considerably less than the normal charge for such applications.”
32.Given the additional responsibilities that will be undertaken by the CAA, the House may wish to be assured that the necessary resources and contingency arrangements are in place to enable the CAA to carry out these extra functions. Because the EU will not reciprocate mutual recognition of licences, certificates and approvals issued in the UK from exit day, industry will need to be aware and plan accordingly. We draw these Regulations to the attention of the House on the ground that they give rise to issues of public policy likely to be of interest to the House.
Date laid: 29 November 2018
Parliamentary procedure: negative
In the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire and the subsequent review of building regulations and fire safety led by Dame Judith Hackitt, these Regulations ban the use of combustible materials on the external walls of high-rise residential buildings (and some other buildings).
In the Explanatory Memorandum (EM) as originally laid, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said that 460 responses were received to the consultation, and that a clear majority (69%) of these supported the ban; no details were given about other comments received. At our request, MHCLG has revised and re-laid the EM, to provide more information about views expressed in the consultation process, and the Government’s response. We look to the Ministry to be more forthcoming in the information that it provides to Parliament in support of statutory instruments of such policy significance, without the need for external prompting.
We draw these Regulations to the special attention of the House on the ground that they give rise to issues of public policy likely to be of interest to the House.
33.The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has laid these Regulations with an Explanatory Memorandum (EM) and Impact Assessment. MHCLG says that, in amending the Building Regulations 2010, the instrument prohibits the use of combustible materials within the external walls of any building with a storey at least 18 metres in height, where building work takes place and where the building contains: at least one dwelling; or residential accommodation for the treatment, care or maintenance of persons; or certain rooms used for residential purposes, including student accommodation and school dormitories.
34.In the EM, MHCLG explains that, following the fire at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017, Dame Judith Hackitt was commissioned to complete a review, and that she released her final report, “Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety”, in May 2018. In response to the report, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government reaffirmed on 11 June 2018 that the Government’s intention was “to ban the use of combustible materials on the external walls of high-rise residential buildings, subject to consultation”.
35.MHCLG says that the consultation ran for eight weeks from 18 June 2018 to 14 August 2018. The Government response to the consultation was published on 29 November 2018, when the Secretary of State made a written statement, giving a “Grenfell Update”, and confirming that Regulations had been laid to give legal effect to the ban on the use of combustible materials in the buildings specified.
36.In the EM as originally laid, MHCLG said that 460 responses were received to the consultation, and that a clear majority (69%) of these supported the ban; no other details were given about comments received.
37.The Government response of November 2018 is more informative. At paragraph 18, it confirms the finding that 69% of respondents agreed that combustible materials in cladding systems should be banned. However, at paragraph 28, it states that, in answer to a consultation question as to whether the ban should apply to all high-rise, non-residential buildings, such as offices and other buildings, as well as residential buildings, 64% of respondents said “yes”, whereas only 26% disagreed.
38.The Government response offers no explicit response to this finding. At paragraph 65, it states that “the consultation proposed that the ban would apply to blocks of flats as these present the greatest risk to life. The majority of respondents agreed with the proposal. Therefore, the ban will apply to all new residential buildings above 18m in height.” At paragraph 66, acknowledging that support had been expressed for the policy to be extended to include places where occupants were vulnerable and/or where people slept, the response confirms that the ban will also apply to new dormitories in boarding schools, student accommodation, registered care homes and hospitals above 18 metres. Nothing is said about the exclusion of office buildings from the scope of the ban.
39.At our request, MHCLG has revised and re-laid the EM, to provide more information about views expressed in the consultation process, and the Government’s response. The Ministry has now provided additional detail, including the fact that there was strong support for the policy to be extended (80%) and that a smaller majority (64%) felt that it should cover all types of building. MHCLG now explains that the Government have decided to extend the scope of the ban to buildings where the normal strategy for evacuation tends to be delayed and where the occupants of the building are most vulnerable. This explanation casts more light on the decision to exclude office buildings, but we are writing to the Minister to seek further clarification.
40.In the revised EM, MHCLG also acknowledges that a majority (66%) of respondents thought that the ban should extend to projects that had been notified before the ban took effect, but work had not begun on site. The Ministry says that the Government decided therefore to adopt a more stringent approach than is normal for building regulations, and to provide that the ban will apply to any building works unless the works have started on site or an initial notice, building notice or full plans has be deposited and work has started on site within a period of two months.
41.We have no doubt that the House will be interested to see the action which the Government are proposing to take, through these Regulations, to ban the use of combustible materials on the external walls of high-rise residential buildings, as well as in new dormitories in boarding schools, student accommodation, registered care homes and hospitals above 18 metres. Responses to the consultation process carried out over the summer of this year showed strong support for extending the ban to other buildings as well. In the revised EM laid at our request, the Ministry elaborates on these responses and on the basis for the decisions taken by Government in finalising these Regulations. We look to the Ministry to be more forthcoming in the information that it provides to Parliament in support of statutory instruments of such policy significance, without the need for external prompting.
2 [accessed 11 December 2018].
3 European Aviation Safety Agency: [accessed 11 December 2018].
4 Department for Transport, Aviation safety if there’s no Brexit deal (September 2018): [accessed 11 December 2018].
5 Which are relevant to the design of aircraft.
6 The CAA’s charging schemes are available at . The CAA is already responsible for issuing most certificates required by UK based companies and individuals [accessed 11 December 2018].
7 European Commission, Notice to Stakeholders: Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU Aviation Safety Rules (April 2018): [accessed 11 December 2018].
8 This is related to pilot licences which are issued under Commission Regulation (known as a Part-FCL licence) [accessed 11 December 2018].
9 Known as a “Part-TCO Authorisation”.
10 , as previously amended.
11 See Judith Elizabeth Hackitt, Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, Building a Safer Future, Cm 9607, May 2018: [accessed 11 December 2018].
12 See HC Deb, 11 June 2018, .
13 See MHCLG, Banning the use of combustible materials in the external walls of high-rise residential buildings: a consultation paper (June 2018): [accessed 11 December 2018].
14 See MHCLG, Government Response to the Consultation on Banning the Use of Combustible Materials in the External Walls of High-Rise Residential Buildings: [accessed 11 December 2018].
15 Written Ministerial Statement , Session 2017-19.