Airbus chief operating officer Tom Williams has stressed the importance of maintaining the UK’s position within regulatory circles following its exit from European Union membership.

Williams told the UK Parliament's cross-party treasury committee, during a hearing on 24 January, that the UK – which operates under the European Aviation Safety Agency – should avoid imposing a “further burden” of certification approval upon withdrawal.

He also underlined that, while EASA has a small number of non-EU member states, the UK risks losing its “voice” in terms of rulemaking, if it does not preserve close regulatory ties.

“It means [Airbus’s UK arm] and [Rolls-Royce] wouldn’t be at the top table when we’re determining rulemaking for the future,” he said. “And I think that would [be] a dangerous situation.”

Williams had already dismissed notions that the UK might return to independent civil aircraft manufacturing, and similarly rejected any suggestion that it could adopt a separate regulatory framework.

“If you’re outside the legislative and rulemaking part of it...I think [that] would be a bad thing,” he says. “Clearly, in terms of setting up alternatives, it would be pointless.”

Establishing a UK certification infrastructure would be “impractical”, Williams told the committee.

“Even if you were to establish it, you’d end up having to do EASA certification in any case,” he said.

“If I’m a small supplier…I’d want international recognition. If I’m to host an audit from EASA, why would I bother having a separate audit under the UK? It’s not worthwhile.”

Source: Cirium Dashboard