Commercial and private UK pilot licences will continue to be internationally recognised if a no-deal Brexit scenario comes to pass, the Civil Aviation Authority has stressed.
In a statement responding to a media report, the regulator says its licences would remain valid for use on UK-registered aircraft because the nation is a signatory to ICAO's Chicago convention.
"Our licences are internationally recognised – including by the European Aviation Safety Agency – both now and after 29 March 2019," adds the CAA, referencing the date on which the UK is scheduled to exit the EU.
The UK regulator will continue to issue pilot licences and to reissue them when they are lost or damaged, or if details need to be changed or privileges updated. It notes: "Over time, this would include removing references to EASA – a purely cosmetic change."
It says it "strongly refutes any suggestion that we are concerned about our ability to provide safety oversight to the UK aviation industry should no deal be reached", and makes the point that EASA approval of new aircraft and component design should not be confused with the CAA's national safety oversight obligations.
"As a responsible regulator, the CAA has been planning for all eventualities in the negotiations, including that of a 'no-deal', for some time," it adds. "Our planning and contingency is advanced and we continue to work closely with the government to prepare the industry for all scenarios."
Flightcrew union BALPA had earlier today highlighted its wish to "establish unequivocally what the status of UK pilot licences will be post-Brexit" through talks with the CAA and UK Department for Transport.
The union stated: "We believe that UK licences will still be valid to fly UK-registered aircraft. But 'belief' is not proof, and that is what we seek."