FAA acting administrator Dan Elwell has called on the UK and world governments to accelerate the pace of bilateral aviation negotiations ahead of Brexit, when the UK leaves the European Union (EU), in March 2019.

“Brexit and its March 2019 deadline is obviously on all of our minds,” Elwell said during a June 19 speech at the EASA-FAA Aviation Safety Conference in Washington DC. “As the clock runs down, removing uncertainty about the UK and its aviation agreements with the rest of the world only becomes more important.”

“Brexit is going to affect passengers, businesses and the entire global supply chain, but early planning can help mitigate those impacts,” he added. “It’s in everyone’s best interest to reach a decision on the aviation components of Brexit as soon as possible.”

Elwell also hailed a recent amendment to the US-EU Safety Agreement that makes it easier for both sides to validate and import each other’s aircraft and aviation parts. The amended agreement, which sets a framework toward lowering validation fees for manufacturers, will help get products to market faster by “reducing the involvement of validating authorities on both sides of the Atlantic.”

“Thanks to the relationship we’ve built over the years, we have a high degree of confidence in our respective certification systems,” Elwell said. “This agreement opens up a way for the US and EU to collaborate on flight simulation training devices, as well as on pilot licensing and training.”

The acting administrator also emphasized a host of safety innovations underway at FAA, including data communications technology, performance-based navigation and the rollout of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B)—a system that uses GPS satellites to give air traffic controllers a more accurate picture of where an aircraft is at a given moment.

FAA is currently about 18 months away from a deadline requiring all aircraft flying in controlled airspace to be equipped with ADS-B. Approximately 25% of the US airline fleet is already equipped with the technology.

“We’re working closely with our international partners to make sure any aircraft that will be flying in US airspace has equipment installed that complies with the mandate by Jan.1, 2020,” Elwell said.

Ben Goldstein, Ben.Goldstein@aviationweek.com