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UK & Ireland's Aviation Authorities Partner To Crack Down On Illegal Flights


  • The UK Civil Aviation Authority and the Irish Aviation Authority have signed a Declaration of Co-operation to enforce aviation safety across the Irish Sea.
  • Aviation authorities enforce laws and advocate for safety, such as holding airlines accountable for cancellations and fighting against illegal charter operations.
  • The partnership between the aviation authorities includes sharing information on breaches of aviation law, exchanging technical staff, and coordinating consultations to improve aviation safety.

In a new partnership, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) have signed a Declaration of Co-operation to enforce aviation safety across the Irish Sea. For the two neighboring nations, being able to synchronize aviation law enforcement, the collaboration goes beyond there.

But first, what do aviation authorities do?

Both aviation authorities are responsible for safety, security, and value for money in commercial aviation. Being that aviation, by its very nature, crosses borders, the ability of aviation authorities to build a good network is key for those authorities to succeed. In fact, about 90% of all transatlantic air traffic passes through Irish airspace which makes a strong IAA very much in CAA’s interests.

Image of Declan Fitzpatrick (left of Irish Aviation Authority) and Rob Bishton (right and of UK Civil Aviation Authority)

Photo: UK Civil Aviation Authority

As Declan Fitzpatrick, Chief Executive at the Irish Aviation Authority noted,

As aviation regulators, safety is our number one priority, and sharing of expertise and information is key to ensuring that we maintain our excellent safety records.

Working together to share and present information

As such, below is a list of activities covered under the new agreement,

  • Sharing pertinent information regarding any Breaches of Civil Aviation Law by, a manufacturer, a maintenance organization, air operator, or any other entity, or individual persons illegally operating an aircraft. The shared information may also include, but is not limited to:
  • Safety alerts, bulletins, or advisories.
  • Proposed and completed rulemakings and related documents.
  • Proposed and final enforcement actions.
  • Educational materials suitable for public dissemination.

The agreement builds on a long history of collaboration between the two aviation authorities. The new cooperation goes beyond the two aviation authorities sharing information about potential and actual breaches of aviation law to the point technical staff will be exchanged, and reciprocal consultations will be coordinated.

A closeup of a British Airways Airbus A350-1000 about to land.

Photo: Danc47667 | Shutterstock

As Rob Bishton, Chief Executive Designate at the CAA noted,

“Aviation safety is a principal responsibility for any aviation regulator. We already have strong ties with the Irish Aviation Authority and this declaration bolsters our ties to allows us to work together effectively. Our co-operation agreement not only encourages safety in the UK and Republic of Ireland, but internationally as well.”

Fitzpatrick added also,

“Ireland has a long history of cooperation with the UK Civil Aviation Authority on many aspects of civil aviation. Following Brexit, this cooperation agreement will further strengthen that relationship and facilitate effective safety enforcement across both jurisdictions.”

Considering that Brexit created a need for the Civil Aviation Authority to renegotiate and chart a new course in its relationship with the European Union’s Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) – cooperation agreements such as these will be key to keeping the skies safe.

What are your thoughts on this new framework? Please share in the comments.


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