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European Commission - Press release

The European Commission updates the European safety list of airlines subject to an operating ban.

Brussels, 03 April 2012 - The European Commission has adopted today the 19th update of the European list of air carriers which are for safety reasons subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union. Conviasa, an air carrier certified in Venezuela, was added to the list due to safety concerns. Following constructive consultations, Libyan authorities decided to adopt strong measures applicable to all air carriers licensed in Libya, which exclude them from flying into the EU until at least November 2012.

The Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for transport, Siim Kallas, 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 guarantee to exclude any risks to safety."

The European Commission has adopted today the 19th update of the European safety list of air carriers subject to operating bans and other operational restrictions within the EU, better known as "the EU air safety list". The decision is based on the unanimous opinion of the Air Safety Committee, composed of representatives of the 27 Members States of the EU, Croatia, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The new list replaces the previous one established in November 2011 and can be consulted on the Commission’s website.

In order to ensure that safety risks are contained, an operating ban on Conviasa certified in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela was rendered necessary due to numerous safety concerns arising from accidents and the results of ramp checks at EU airports. The safety performance of two other Venezuelan air carriers, Estellar Latinoamerica and Aerotuy, was also reviewed in depth; however, measures were not considered necessary at this stage. Nonetheless, these two air carriers remain subject to increased monitoring.

Serious concerns were identified regarding the safety oversight of air carriers licensed in Libya. So, intense consultations were held with the civil aviation authorities of Libya and with the Libyan Minister of Transport. As a result, the Libyan civil aviation authorities have adopted restrictions applicable to all air carriers licensed in Libya, which exclude them from flying into the EU with immediate effect and until at least 22 November 2012.

On this basis, the Commission, with the full support of the Air Safety Committee, considered that inclusion of Libyan air carriers in the EU air safety list was not necessary. Nonetheless, implementation of the measures decided by the Libyan authorities remains subject to close monitoring.

The European air safety list was also updated to reflect air carriers in existence in States referenced on the list in previous decisions: for the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jet Congo Airways was added; for Equatorial Guinea, Punto Azul was added whilst GETRA, Guinea Airways, UTAGE, Euroguineana de Aviacion y Transportes, General Work Aviacion, Star Equatorial Airlines and EGAMS were removed upon evidence they ceased operations; for Indonesia, TransNusa Aviation Mandiri, Enggang Air Service, Surya Air, Ersa Eastern Aviation and Matthew Air Nusantara newly certified in Indonesia were added, whilst Megantara was removed upon evidence they ceased operations; for Mauritania, Mauritania Airlines was added whilst Mauritania Airways was removed upon evidence it ceased operations; for the Philippines, Aero Equipment Aviation Inc, AirAsia Philippines, Certeza Infosys Corp., Mid-Sea Express, Southern Air Flight Services, NorthSky Air Inc., Island Helicopter Services were added.

Finally, the Commission recognises the efforts of the safety oversight authorities of Albania, Aruba, Indonesia, Libya, Pakistan and Russia to reform the civil aviation system and notably to improve safety to guarantee that international safety standards are effectively and consistently applied. The Commission is ready to provide active support for these reforms in cooperation with ICAO, EU Member States and the European Aviation Safety Agency.

The Commission remains fully 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 in their efforts to enhance safety.

The updated European air safety list includes all carriers certified in 21 States, accounting for 279 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), Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Mauritania, Mozambique, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, Sudan, Swaziland and Zambia.

The list also includes five individual carriers: Blue Wing Airlines from Surinam, Meridian Airways from Ghana, Rollins Air from Honduras and Silverback Cargo Freighters from Rwanda and Conviasa from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Additionally, the list includes 11 air carriers which are subject to operational restrictions and allowed to operate into the EU under strict 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 and Jordan Aviation.

Contacts :

Helen Kearns (+32 2 298 76 38)

Dale Kidd (+32 2 295 74 61)


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