Rolls-Royce could move engine design approval to Germany

FILE PHOTO: A Rolls-Royce engine of an Airbus A350-900 of Ethiopian Airlines is photographed during a site-inspection at Fraport airport in Frankfurt, Germany, May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Rolls-Royce RR.L may transfer the design approval process for its large jet engines from Britain to Germany as a "technical measure" to avoid disruption from Brexit, the company said on Monday.

Rolls, one of the biggest names in British manufacturing, said in a statement it was working to ensure there was no interruption in its services to customers due to Britain’s departure from the European Union.

Aircraft safety and the design approvals process are among the issues that Britain and the EU have yet to settle in their divorce talks. Britain is due to formally leave the bloc in March next year.

“As you would expect, we have to consider what contingency measures we may need to take to ensure our operations in the UK and elsewhere can continue, and these may in the future include the transfer of the design approval for our large jet engines from the UK to Germany,” a spokesperson said.

“This would be a technical measure as we already seek approval for our business jet engines from Germany, and we do not anticipate such a move would lead to the transfer of any jobs from the UK.”

Rolls added that no decision had been taken on whether to press ahead with the plan.

Britain wants to remain part of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) after Brexit to ensure airlines and manufacturers of aviation parts based in the country can continue to benefit from cooperation on safety and avoid increased certification costs.

EASA ensures airlines respect safety rules and certifies aerospace products across the bloc, helping to bring down the costs of development and production within the industry. It also has a bilateral deal with the United States under which they accept each other’s certifications.

Reporting by Sarah Young; Writing by Andy Bruce; Editing by Mark Potter