Aviation Blacklist Agreed by Committee of National Experts

The European blacklist will have a real impact on aviation safety in the European Union. In addition to its punitive effect the blacklist will encourage all airlines operating in Europe to comply fully with safety standards and will dissuade unscrupulous

Aviation Blacklist Agreed by Committee of National Experts

The Aviation Safety Committee, responsible for helping the European Commission to draw up the list of airlines banned in the European Union, completed its work this afternoon. The Committee's unanimous opinion is the result of a detailed assessment of the national safety measures notified by the Member States and the information provided by the airlines and the civil aviation authorities concerned. On the basis of this, the Commission will adopt a Regulation on the European blacklist within the next week. "We have just taken a decisive step", said Jacques Barrot, Vice-President of the Commission responsible for transport. "I am now in a position to ask the Commission to quickly adopt the black list and to publish it, so that we can make sure that the companies identified in it will not have the possibility to enter Europe before they have resolved their problems".

The adoption of the opinion of the Aviation Safety Committee, which is made up of experts from the Member States working hand in hand with the Commission, is the final stage in the Committee's preparatory work leading to the first European list of airlines banned from operating within the European Union.

After Regulation (EC) No 2111/2005[1] came into force on 16 January, the Member States informed the Commission of any flight bans or restrictions on operating in their territory. On this basis, the Commission contacted all the airlines concerned and invited them to express their points of view. The airlines could submit their comments in writing, present them orally to the Commission or be heard by the Aviation Safety Committee.

The Aviation Safety Committee is adopting its opinion based on the common safety criteria listed in the Annex to Regulation (EC) No 2111/2005. These objective and transparent criteria were drawn up on the basis of work undertaken by the committee of aviation safety experts and taking account of the experience of Member States. They focus mainly on the results of checks carried out in European airports, the use of poorly maintained, antiquated or obsolete aircraft, the inability of the airlines involved to rectify the shortcomings identified during the inspections and the inability of the authority responsible for overseeing an airline to perform this task.

In the light of these criteria the Committee may advise the Commission to impose a complete or partial ban on an airline. If the shortcomings observed are due to the civil aviation authority responsible for monitoring them, the ban may cover all the air carriers for which that authority is responsible.

Under Directive 2004/36 on the safety of third-country aircraft using Community airports (the SAFA Directive), the Committee may also recommend stepping up checks on certain airlines which are allowed to operate in the European Union.

As the last national measures were notified to the Commission on 23 February, it still has a week to adopt a decision. This is expected to be published in the Official Journal of 24 March 2006.

The European blacklist will have a real impact on aviation safety in the European Union. In addition to its punitive effect the blacklist will encourage all airlines operating in Europe to comply fully with safety standards and will dissuade unscrupulous airlines from starting up services in Europe. It will also avoid discrepancies between the way in which Member States impose flight bans and restrictions.

At the same time as it approves the initial list, the Commission will adopt the rules for it to be updated. If an airline feels that it should be taken off the list because it again complies with safety standards, it can contact the Commission or a Member State, which may ask for the list to be updated. The committee of aviation safety experts will then assess the evidence provided by the airline or the relevant supervisory authority. The Commission will take its final decision based on the Committee's opinion. The same procedure will apply if an airline is to be added to the list. The list will be updated as often as is necessary and at least every three months.

Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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