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Brussels, 23 November

Commission updates EU list of banned air carriers

The European Commission has adopted the sixteenth update of the list of airlines banned in the European Union. All air carriers certified in Afghanistan and Mauritania Airways are banned. One air carrier certified in Kyrgyzstan and one in Gabon are also added to the list whilst nine Kazakh operators were removed from the list and operating restrictions modified for one Ghanaian operator. The European Aviation Safety Agency was mandated to perform technical assistance missions.

Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for mobility and transport, said: "We cannot afford to compromise on air safety. Where we have evidence that air carriers are not performing safe operations or where the regulatory authorities fail in their obligation to enforce the safety standards we must act to ensure there will be no risks to safety."

The list published today replaces the previous one established in September 2010, and can be consulted on the Commission’s website. (1)

With this update, the previous ban on the operations in the EU of one Afghan carrier (Ariana Afghan Airlines) has been extended to all air carriers certified in Afghanistan due to the safety deficiencies identified in its system to oversee civil aviation and on several carriers. Several bans at national level had already been decided regarding the operations of the air carrier Kam Air. The Commission recognises the efforts of the Afghan government and its commitment to reform the present civil aviation oversight system and improve safety. It is ready to provide active support to this reform in cooperation with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Due to persisting deficiencies regarding the operations and maintenance of the air carrier Mauritania Airways, identified in the course of ramp inspections carried out in several EU Member States, this carrier is also banned. This measure will apply to any other carrier certified in Mauritania with this update. It has been decided in view of deficiencies in the civil aviation oversight system identified by ICAO in the framework of its "universal safety oversight audit" (USOA).

Given that new air carriers were established in Gabon (Afric Aviation) and Kyrgyzstan (CAAS), these carriers were added to the list as all carriers from these states are subject to operating restrictions due to the insufficient ability of the competent authorities of those states to discharge their safety oversight responsibilities.

Nine Kazakh operators were removed from the list following information from the competent authorities of Kazakhstan indicating that their air operator certificates were revoked and that these operators are no longer involved in commercial air transport.

In addition, existing operating restrictions imposed on an air carrier from Ghana (Airlift International) were partly lifted following progress achieved and the carrier was allowed to resume operations in the EU, under strict conditions, with an additional aircraft and subject to continuous monitoring of Member States through ramp inspections.

The European Commission is committed to supporting better compliance with international safety standards whenever possible and has in this perspective 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, with a view to enhancing safety and addressing the safety concerns.

The updated European list includes all carriers certified in 19 States, accounting for 276 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, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, Sudan, Swaziland and Zambia. The list also includes four individual carriers: Blue Wing Airlines from Surinam, Meridian Airways from Ghana, Siem reap Airways International from Cambodia and Silverback Cargo Freighters from Rwanda. Additionally, the list includes ten 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 and Ukrainian Mediterranean Airlines certified in Ukraine.

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