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Fri, 11 December 2015

European Commission Updates EU Air Safety List

Only days after the adoption of a new Aviation Strategy for Europe, the European Commission has updated the EU Air Safety List, the list of airlines that are subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union.

This list complements the new authorisation scheme for third country operators, which is being phased-in since June 2015 and is designed to further boost air safety while cutting red-tape.

The updated EU Air Safety List clears Kazakhstan's national carrier Air Astana, whose operations in the EU had been restricted since 2009. On the other hand it added Iraqi Airways due to unaddressed safety concerns.

EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said, "Offering the highest level of air safety to European citizens is a priority of the Commission. On Monday we updated the EU's safety rules as part of the Aviation Strategy and today we are updating the EU's Air Safety List. I am satisfied that we were able to clear Air Astana after six years of work. In the interest of European citizens, we are however forced to maintain other Kazakh carriers on the list and to add Iraqi Airways."

No air carriers from Thailand were added to the Air Safety List at this time. The Commission and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said they are willing to continue to work with the Thai authorities to enhance aviation safety in the country.

The Commission and EASA will however closely monitor future developments and, if the protection of air passengers against safety risks so requires, the Commission could then propose to include one or more air carriers from Thailand in the Air Safety List.

The updated EU Air Safety List includes all airlines, to a total of 228, certified in 20 states. This is because of a lack of safety oversight by the aviation authorities from these states: Afghanistan, Angola (with the exception of one airline which operates under restrictions and conditions), Benin, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon (with the exception of 2 airlines which operate under restrictions and conditions), Indonesia (with the exception of 4 airlines), Kazakhstan (with the exception of Air Astana, which is being cleared today), the Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Libya, Mozambique, Nepal, So Tom and Prncipe, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Zambia. Additionally, the list also includes two individual airlines, based on safety concerns with these air carriers: Iraqi Airways (Iraq) and Blue Wing Airlines (Suriname), bringing the overall total of airlines banned from EU skies to 230.

The list also includes seven airlines which are subject to operational restrictions. These airlines can only fly to the EU with specific aircraft types: Afrijet and SN2AG (Gabon), Air Koryo (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), Air Service Comores (the Comoros), Iran Air (Iran), TAAG Angolan Airlines (Angola) and Air Madagascar (Madagascar).

The update of the Air Safety List is based on the unanimous opinion of the EU Air Safety Committee, which met from 24 to 26 November 2015. It is being published in the Official Journal of the European Union today, 11 December 2015.

See also: Aviation Industry Update by Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) and Future of Air Travel - HD Video Interview with SITA President for Asia Pacific.

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