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Aviation: Commission updates the EU list of air carriers subject to an operating ban
The European Commission has adopted recently the eighteenth update of the list of airlines banned in the European Union. Close and intense cooperation with the aviation authorities of two countries - Albania and the Russian Federation – has led both countries to adopt strong measures in order to control and contain any risks to safety of their air carriers flying into the EU. Therefore, no measures were necessary by the Commission vis–à-vis air carriers licensed in Albania or in the Russian Federation. Thanks to further improvements in the safety performance of TAAG Angolan Airlines the air carrier is allowed to add two aircraft to those operating into the EU. The Commission was compelled to impose operating restrictions to exclude part of the fleet of Jordan Aviation in view of numerous and repeated safety deficiencies and to ban fully all operations of the air carrier Rollins Air certified in Honduras.
Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said: "The Commission is ready to spare no effort to assist its neighbours in building their technical and administrative capacity to overcome any difficulties in the area of safety as quickly and as efficiently as possible. In the meantime, safety comes first. We cannot afford any compromise in this area. Where we have evidence inside or outside the European Union that air carriers are not performing safe operations we must act to exclude any risks to safety."
The Commission has adopted recently, following the unanimous opinion of the Air Safety Committee, the eighteenth update of the list of airlines banned in the EU. The new list replaces the previous one established in April 2011 and can already be consulted on the Commission’s website .
The Air Safety Committee, which met from 8 to 10 November, also examined various cases of European air carriers. The Commission is urging the authorities in several Member States to further enhance their oversight of these air carriers to ensure that all airlines established in Europe operate at the highest safety levels.
With this update , the TAAG Angolan Airlines is allowed to operate into the EU two modern aircraft of type B-777-300 shown to be managed safely by the air carrier which oversees their operations appropriately .
The Commission and the Air Safety Committee were very concerned with the performance of Albanian air carriers and their authorities. Following the formal commitment of Albanian authorities to employ full time qualified personnel to ensure the continuous surveillance of air carriers under their regulatory authority and coupled with very strong enforcement measures - revocation of the air operator's certificate of Albanian Airlines and the removal of one aircraft from the fleet of Belle Air - the Air Safety Committee supported unanimously the Commission's proposal to refrain from any measures. Member States and in particular Italy have accepted to further enhance their ongoing cooperation with Albania by providing technical assistance focusing on improving oversight.
In order to ensure that there were no risks for safety from the operations of certain air carriers, the Commission with the unanimous support of the Air Safety Committee has decided to impose operating restrictions on Jordan Aviation and to exclude three aircraft of type Boeing 767 from its fleet operating into the EU. The Commission is ready to support the efforts of the authorities of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the air carrier to improve safety in a sustainable manner also through an assessment visit.
Following information received from France regarding the safety of the air carrier Rollins Air certified in Honduras and the unanimous support in the Air Safety Committee, the Commission decided to impose an operating ban on all operations of Rollins Air pending the resolution of the various significant safety issues that were first raised by France.
Furthermore, the list now includes air carriers which have been certified by the aviation authorities of the Republic of Congo ( Equatorial Congo ), of the Democratic Republic of Congo ( Stellar Airways ) and of the Philippines ( Aeromajestic and Interisland Airlines ) not having received the necessary documented evidence that these carriers comply with international safety standards.
The Commission has examined three air carriers certified in the Russian Federation – VIM AVIA, Yakutia and Tatarstan Airlines . The Russian aviation authorities have presented to the Commission and the Air Safety Committee the enforcement measures on these air carriers and in particular the imposed operating restrictions on all operations of VIM AVIA into the EU until 1 April 2012. The operations of Yakutia and Tatarstan into the EU were also restricted. The Russian aviation authorities have reassured the Commission and the Air Safety Committee that they would guarantee the effective implementation of their decisions. On this basis and on the understanding of a continuous and close monitoring of all operations of Russian air carriers into the EU, the Commission has decided to refrain from imposing an operating ban on VIM AVIA and to examine again this case in the next Air Safety Committee.
The Commission and the Air Safety Committee have recognised the efforts of all the national authorities concerned to reform the present civil aviation system and improve safety to guarantee that international safety standards are effectively applied. The Commission is ready to provide active support to these reforms in cooperation with ICAO, EU Member States and the European Aviation Safety Agency.
To this effect, the Commission has mandated the European Aviation Safety Agency to carry out a series of technical assistance missions to support the competent authorities of a number of states in their efforts to enhance safety.
The updated European list includes all carriers certified in 21 States, accounting for 273 known air carriers, whose operations are fully banned in the European Union: Afghanistan, Angola, Benin, Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon (with the exception of three carriers which operate under restrictions and conditions), Indonesia (with the exception of six carriers), Kazakhstan (with the exception of one carrier which operates under restrictions and conditions), the Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Mauritania, Mozambique, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, Sudan, Swaziland and Zambia.
The list continues to include four individual carriers: Blue Wing Airlines from Surinam, Meridian Airways from Ghana, Rollins Air from Honduras and Silverback Cargo Freighters from Rwanda.
Additionally, the list includes 11 air carriers which are allowed to operate into the EU under strict restrictions and subject to conditions: Air Astana from Kazakhstan as mentioned before, Air Koryo from the Democratic People Republic of Korea, Airlift International from Ghana, Air Service Comores, Afrijet, Gabon Airlines and SN2AG from Gabon, Iran Air, TAAG Angolan Airlines, Air Madagascar certified in Madagascar and Jordan Aviation certified in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Helen Kearns (+32 2 298 76 38)
Dale Kidd (+32 2 295 74 61)