The European Commission on 2nd June updated the EU Air Safety List, the list of airlines that are subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union as they do not meet international safety standards. The Commission wishes to ensure the highest level of air safety for all passengers travelling in the European Union.
Following Tuesday’s update, all airlines certified in Armenia have been added to the list, after further assessment of the country’s safety oversight capabilities. This decision follows the hearings of the Armenian Civil Aviation Committee (CAC) and six Armenian air carriers.
In addition, the list of air carriers certified in Congo (Brazzaville), Democratic Republic of Congo, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Nepal, and Sierra Leone has been reviewed and amended, with new carriers from these countries added, and carriers which do not exist any longer removed.
Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said: “The EU Air Safety List should be used as an instrument that helps airlines and countries listed reassess and improve their flying standards. The decision to include the Armenian carriers on the EU Air Safety List has been made based on the unanimous opinion delivered by the Air Safety Committee. The Commission, with the assistance of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, stands ready to cooperate and invest in Armenia to improve its aviation safety.”
The EU Air Safety List not only helps to maintain high levels of safety in the EU, but also helps affected airlines and countries to improve their levels of safety, in order for them to eventually be taken off the list. 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 Tuesday’s update, a total of 96 airlines are banned from EU skies:
- 90 airlines certified in 16 states*, due to inadequate safety oversight by the aviation authorities from these states;
- Six individual airlines, based on serious safety deficiencies identified: Avior Airlines (Venezuela), Blue Wing Airlines (Suriname), Iran Aseman Airlines (Iran), Iraqi Airways (Iraq), Med-View Airlines (Nigeria) and Air Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe).
An additional three airlines are subject to operational restrictions and can only fly to the EU with specific aircraft types: Air Service Comores (the Comoros), Iran Air (Iran) and Air Koryo (North Korea).
Tuesday’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 12-14 May 2020 under the auspices of the EU Air Safety Committee (ASC), via videoconference. This Committee is chaired by the European Commission with the support of the European Union 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 Organization (ICAO). The Commission is constantly looking at ways to improve aviation safety, notably through collaborative efforts with aviation authorities worldwide to raise global safety standards.