Today the European Commission updated the EU Air Safety List, the list of non-European airlines that do not meet international safety standards, and are therefore subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union. The EU Air Safety List seeks to ensure the highest level of air safety for European citizens, which is a top priority of the Aviation Strategy adopted by the Commission in December 2015.
Following today's update, all airlines certified in Benin and Mozambique are cleared from the list, following further improvements to the aviation safety situation in these countries. On the other hand, the airlines Med-View (Nigeria), Mustique Airways (St. Vincent and the Grenadines), Aviation Company Urga (Ukraine) and Air Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe) were added to the list due to unaddressed safety deficiencies that were detected by the European Aviation Safety Agency during the assessment for a third country operator authorisation.
Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: "I am glad that we are able to take all carriers from Benin and Mozambique out of the air safety list. Their reforms have paid off. This is also a signal to the 16 countries that remain on the list. It shows that work and cooperation pays off. The Commission and the European Aviation Safety Agency are ready to assist them and raise the safety standards worldwide".
The EU Air Safety List not only helps to maintain high levels of safety in the EU, but it also helps affected countries to improve their levels of safety, in order to eventually allow them to operate flights to and from airports in the European Union. In addition, the EU Air Safety List has become a major preventive tool, as it motivates countries with safety problems to act upon them before a ban under the EU Air Safety List would become necessary.
Following today's update, a total of 181 airlines are banned from EU skies:
- 174 airlines certified in 16 states, due to a lack of safety oversight by the aviation authorities from these states.
- Seven individual airlines, based on safety concerns with regard to these airlines themselves: Iran Aseman Airlines (Iran), Iraqi Airways (Iraq) and Blue Wing Airlines (Suriname), Med-View Airlines (Nigeria), Mustique Airways (St Vincent and the Grenadines), Aviation Company Urga (Ukraine) and Air Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe).
An additional six airlines are subject to operational restrictions and can only fly to the EU with specific aircraft types: Afrijet and Nouvelle Air Affaires SN2AG (Gabon), Air Koryo (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), Air Service Comores (the Comoros), Iran Air (Iran) and TAAG Angola Airlines (Angola).
The Commission is constantly looking at ways to improve air safety. One such way is to work with aviation authorities worldwide to raise global safety standards. With this in mind, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is therefore implementing technical cooperation projects with partner countries and regions. An example is the "Improving Air Transport in Central Africa" (ATA-AC) project, where EASA works with a number of African states on several aspects of aviation safety. Benin and Mozambique both benefitted from such cooperation projects, which contributed to address past safety deficiencies. More information on technical cooperation projects is available here.
Today's update of the Air Safety List is based on the unanimous opinion of the aviation safety experts from the Member States who met from 25 to 27 April within the EU Air Safety Committee (ASC). This Committee is chaired by the European Commission with the support of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The update equally got the support from the European Parliament's Transport Committee. Assessment is made against international safety standards, and notably the standards promulgated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
For more information:
Afghanistan, Angola (with the exception of one airline which operates under restrictions and conditions), 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 7 airlines), the Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Libya, Nepal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone and Sudan.