Flights will be grounded and airlines will go bust if the UK government does not reach a deal with the European Union on Brexit, Scotland’s leading airport chief has warned.
Derek Provan, the chief executive of AGS Airports which owns Glasgow and Aberdeen airports, issued the warning in an interview with The Herald newspaper.
He said: “Eighty-five per cent of the flights fly in and out of Europe. What that would mean is aircraft on the ground, aircraft physically unable to take off because they don’t have any air space to fly into, because you don’t have an agreement for that aircraft to fly through that air space.”
Provan likened the scenario to the 2011 Icelandic volcano eruption that resulted in flights all over Europe being grounded due to ash clouds.
Provan criticised a lack of action on the part of the UK government.
He added: “There is no mitigation against no deal, however long that takes place. Unless you have got an agreement that sits within there, at this moment in time we don’t understand what those mechanisms would be to allow aircraft to fly.
“The UK Government has been very clear that aviation is a priority, but that is not what we are seeing.”
Speaking in October 2017, Chancellor Philip Hammond said: “It is theoretically conceivable in a no-deal scenario that there will be no air traffic moving between the UK and EU on 29 March 2019,”
Aviation after Brexit was the subject of a recent ‘fact check’ by the UK BBC.
The Scottish government has called on the UK government to rule out ‘no deal’, insisting such a scenario would be catastrophic. Nicola Sturgeon has repeatedly called on Theresa May to maintain the UK’s Single Market membership and that of the Customs Union.
A ‘no deal’ Brexit is widely accepted to be the worst possible scenario for the UK. However Theresa May has insisted that ‘no deal’ would be better than a ‘bad deal’.
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