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IP/10/892

Brussels, 6 July 2010

Commission updates list of airlines banned from European airspace

The European Commission has updated the list of airlines banned in the European Union to include one carrier from Surinam and to expand the operating restrictions on Iran Air. In addition, two carriers from Indonesia have been removed from the list of banned airlines.

Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said: "We cannot afford to compromise on air safety. Where we have evidence that air carriers are not performing safe operations or where regulators fail in their obligation to enforce safety standards, we must act to guarantee safe skies for our citizens when they travel. We are ready to support those countries which need and want to build up their technical and administrative capacity to guarantee the highest standards of safety of civil aviation. The Commission is working closely with the European Aviation Safety Agency to further strengthen its efforts in providing technical assistance."

With this fourteenth update, the carrier Blue Wing Airlines from Surinam is included in the list of banned airlines following measures taken by a Member State as a consequence of a series of accidents suffered by this airline and serious deficiencies revealed during ramp inspections of its aircraft.

Based on the results of the visit to Iran, led by the Commission with the participation of experts from Member States and EASA to verify implementation by Iran Air of measures announced at the last Air Safety Committee in March 2010 by the civil aviation organisation of Iran and the air carrier, the Air Safety Committee unanimously supported the expansion of the operating restrictions imposed on Iran Air to exclude from operations into the EU its fleet of Airbus A-320 and of Boeing B-727 and B-747. The Commission will continue to closely monitor the performance of the airline through the results of ramp checks of its aircraft which can operate in the EU and will intensify its consultations with the civil aviation organisation of Iran to find sustainable solutions to the identified safety problems, where practicable through technical assistance.

With this update the Commission has also recognised the improvements in the oversight exercised by the competent authorities of Indonesia. These improvements allowed the Air Safety Committee to support the removal from the list of two Indonesian air carriers: Metro Batavia and Indonesia Air Asia.

In the same vein, the Commission welcomes the progress made by the civil aviation authority of Gabon in the implementation of the corrective action plan aimed at resolving the deficiencies identified by ICAO, and decided to allow air carrier Afrijet – which is permitted to operate under restrictions in the EU – to add another aircraft to its fleet used for such services.

In the framework of this update, the civil aviation authority of Albania is urged to intensify its oversight in relation to all carriers and continue to implement the action plan agreed with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), to give priority to those areas which raise safety concerns and to speed up its technical and administrative capacity building.

Today, the Community list has four carriers whose operations are fully banned in the European Union: Ariana Afghan Airlines from Afghanistan, Blue Wing Airlines from Surinam, 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 (with the exception of six carriers from which the restrictions have been fully removed), 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. There are 9 air carriers allowed to operate under restrictions and conditions: Air Koryo from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, TAAG Angola Airlines, Air Astana from Kazakhstan, Iran Air from Iran, Gabon Airlines, Afrijet and SN2AG from Gabon, Air Service Comores and Ukrainian Mediterranean Airlines from Ukraine.

The list is available for consultation on the Commission website:

http://ec.europa.eu/transport/air-ban/list_en.htm


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