Brussels, 30 March 2010
Commission updates the list of airlines banned from the European airspace
The European Commission has adopted today the thirteenth update of the Community’s list of airlines banned in the European Union to include all air carriers of two additional countries: Sudan and the Philippines, on the basis of safety assessments by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). With this update, restrictions placed on Air Koryo from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and TAAG from Angola are partially lifted under certain conditions, while the operations of Iran Air will be restricted.
Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for Transport, said: "Safety comes first. We are ready to support countries that need to build up technical and administrative capacity to guarantee the necessary standards in civil aviation. But we cannot accept that airlines fly into the EU if they do not fully comply with international safety standards."
See Commission's website.
With this update, the Air Koryo licensed in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, subject to an operating ban since March 2006, is allowed to resume operations into the EU with two aircraft which are fitted with the necessary equipment to comply with mandatory international standards and following appropriate oversight by its authority. The rest of its fleet remains barred from operating into the EU.
The Commission recognises the improvements in the operations of TAAG Angola Airlines by allowing the air carrier to operate under certain strict conditions with specific aircraft to all destinations in the EU, not only to Lisbon.
The civil aviation authority of Angola is urged to intensify its oversight in relation to all carriers and continue the recertification of the other Angolan air carriers which remain banned from operating into the EU.
The Commission imposes an operating ban on all operations of Sudanese air carriers, due to a poor safety performance of the civil aviation authority of Sudan resulting from persistent non-compliance with international standards in the area of oversight.
The Commission acknowledges the recent efforts launched by the competent authorities to reform the civil aviation system in the Philippines and steps taken to address safety deficiencies reported by the FAA and ICAO and measures taken by two carriers – Philippines Airlines and Cebu Airlines – to ensure safety of operations. It is ready to support the Philippines to overcome serious safety deficiencies.
In view of the significant safety concerns identified by ICAO in relation to the authorities, the Commission with the unanimous support of the Air Safety Committee is forced to follow the principle of precaution and impose an operating ban on all air carriers licensed in the Philippines. The Commission is ready to support the Philippine authorities and conduct a visit to the country.
Following an examination of the safety of Iran Air's operations into the EU through ramp checks of its aircraft in the Community, evidence of serious incidents and accidents suffered by the carrier and insufficient oversight from the authority over the past year, the Air Safety Committee concluded unanimously that the operations of Iran Air to the EU should be restricted. The carrier will only be allowed to use certain aircraft for flights to Europe. The Commission will visit Iran over the next months to verify the oversight of the Iranian civil aviation organisation and the safety situation of Iran Air.
The results of a recent visit by the European Aviation Safety Agency to Albania indicate that the competent authority needs to strengthen its capabilities to ensure the oversight of the air carriers it licences. The authorities have been urged by the Commission to take prompt action to address these issues. The Commission will closely monitor the situation.
The Commission follows closely the performance of Egyptian air carriers. A visit to Egypt to verify the oversight functions of the civil aviation authority and the performance of certain air carriers showed that this authority is carrying out its responsibilities correctly. The Commission will continue to cooperate closely with this authority to ensure that proposed improvements can be implemented.
Today, the Community’s list has three carriers whose operations are fully banned in the European Union – Ariana Afghan Airlines from Afghanistan, Siem reap Airways International from Cambodia and Silverback Cargo Freighters from Rwanda.
All carriers from 17 countries – 278 companies in total – are banned: Angola, Benin, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, (with the exception of three carriers which operate under restrictions and conditions), Indonesia, Kazakhstan (with the exception of one carrier which operates under restrictions and conditions), the Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Philippines, Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, Sudan, Swaziland and Zambia. 10 air carriers are allowed to operate under restrictions and conditions - Air Koryo from the Democratic People Republic of Korea, TAAG Angola Airlines, Air Astana from Kazakhstan, Iran Air from Iran Gabon Airlines, Afrijet and SN2AG from Gabon, Air Bangladesh, Air Service Comores and Ukrainian Mediterranean Airlines from Ukraine.