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Day 2 Report

Brexit – deal or no deal!

The second day of the Regional Airline Conference 2019 opened with the third conference session of the event which focussed on Brexit. With the discussion taking place only one day before the initial date the UK was due to leave the European Union, this session took a closer look at the current situation and its anticipated impact on the aviation industry.

Chaired by Hahn Air’s Head of Corporate Strategy and Industry and Government Affairs, Jörg Troester, discussions took place with Pablo Mendes De Leon, Professor of Air and Space Law, Leiden University; Luc Tytgat, Strategy and Safety Management Director, EASA; and Andrew Kelly, ERA President and Director Corporate Affairs for ASL Airlines Ireland.

Professor Mendes De Leon began this session with a presentation on the rules, regulations and rights available following Brexit, whether a deal or no deal occurs. This was followed by Tytgat who discussed the need for preparedness and what airlines must do to ensure they are ready for Brexit, no matter what the outcome. Finally, Kelly provided an airline perspective, highlighting seven key Brexit issues for the industry, including: airline ownership, traffic rights, pilot licences, engineering licenses, design organisational approval, components and contractor work permits.

Brexit uncertainty still remains and only time will tell how aviation will truly be impacted. One thing is for sure, as Kelly puts it: “We need regional air traffic and this connectivity must remain open. Brexit, whether it passes or not, deal or no deal, will be on the agenda of this conference for years to come.”

The people hacker

Inspirational speaker Jenny Radcliffe gave the final talk on her experiences in information security, explaining how ‘social engineering’ can be a huge security threat to any organisation. Using a combination of anecdotes, science and humour, Radcliffe shared how she uses social engineering – the human element of security, such as negotiation, persuasion and influence, non-verbal communication and deception – to test an organisation’s security defences.

Radcliffe pointed out that: “industries spend billions of pounds on technology security, but the weakest link remains people. In fact, 80 per cent of attacks on businesses – cyber or otherwise – are enacted by people.”

The final networking buffet luncheon was a great close to the event. An increasing number of delegates register for the Regional Airline Conference each year making it one of the must-attend conferences for European aviation. Thanks to all the delegates who attended this year’s event.

Make sure you register for ERA’s General Assembly 2019, this year held in Juan Les Pins (near Nice), France, 8–10 October. We look forward to seeing you there.