Today the European Commission updated the EU Air Safety List, the list of 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 Commission’s Aviation Strategy.
Following today’s update, all airlines certified in Indonesia are cleared from the list, following further improvements to the aviation safety situation that was ascertained in the country.
Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “The EU Air Safety List is one of our main instruments to continuously offer the highest level of air safety to Europeans. I am particularly glad that after years of work, we are today able to clear all air carriers from Indonesia. It shows that hard work and close cooperation pay off. I am also satisfied that we now have a new warning system to prevent unsafe aircraft from entering European airspace.”
All Indonesian carriers were put on the EU Air Safety List in 2007 due to unaddressed safety concerns. Over the past years, a small number (7 in total) were removed, but the bulk of Indonesian carriers remained on the list until today.
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 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 today’s update, a total of 119 airlines are banned from EU skies:
- 114 airlines certified in 15 states, due to a lack of safety oversight by the aviation authorities from these states;
- Five individual airlines, based on safety concerns with regard to these airlines themselves: Iran Aseman Airlines (Iran), Iraqi Airways (Iraq), Blue Wing Airlines (Suriname), Med-View Airlines (Nigeria) 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).
In addition, and in line with the European Union’s endeavour to make European airspace as safe as possible, Eurocontrol is today deploying a new system to prevent unsafe aircraft from entering European airspace. Since November 2016, any non-European aircraft that enters the Union needs to have a single safety authorisation valid throughout Europe called “third country operator authorisation” or TCO. The new system will alarm the Air Traffic Controllers of all Members States that an aircraft which does not have such an authorisation is trying to fly to the Union. The aircraft will then be denied access to the airspace of that Member State. The new system is the result of close cooperation between the Commission, Eurocontrol and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in a joint effort to put in place the best possible enforcement tools for aviation safety.
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 29 to 31 May 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).
The Commission is constantly looking at ways to improve air safety as today’s new alarming system illustrates. It will pre-notify the EASA Member States of every flight to or from one of the EU countries, Switzerland, Norway or Iceland which intends to fly without the proper Third Country Operator Approval. The Alarming Function warns the authorities of the participating countries and allows them to deny access before the flight concerned is executed.
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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), the Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Libya, Nepal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone and Sudan.