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     Dr.(Phys.)Dipl.-Ing.Ralf-Udo Hartmann

Air safety

Aviation security

EU updates airline blacklist           Link to Black List

The European Commission updated, on 21 November, the list of airlines banned from EU airspace. The Commission will authorise the company TAAG Angolan Airlines to add two more aircraft to those operating in the EU. Conversely, it imposed operating restrictions to exclude part of the fleet of Jordan Aviation and banned fully all operations of the air carrier Rollins Air certified in Honduras. Furthermore, the list now includes air carriers that have been certified by the aviation authorities of the Republic of Congo (Equatorial Congo), of the Democratic Republic of Congo (Stellar Airways) and of the Philippines (Aeromajestic and Interisland Airlines) not having received the necessary documented evidence that these carriers comply with international safety standards. Russian and Albanian companies were very close to be included in the blacklist. "Intense cooperation” was necessary with the authorities of those countries. So as to avoid measures being adopted against them, the Russian and Albanian authorities adopted strong enforcement measures and made a commitment to control and contain any risks. Measures taken by the authorities included the revocation of the air operator’s certificate of Albanian Airlines and the restrictions imposed on all operations of VIM AVIA into the EU until 1 April – when the blacklist is next updated. The operations of Yakutia and Tatarstan Airlines into the EU were also restricted.


The operations of all carriers of the following states (ie 273 in total) are fully banned in the EU: Afghanistan, Angola (with the exception of TAAG Angola Airlines, which is subject to operating restrictions and conditions), Benin, Republic of Congo, 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), the Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Mauritania, Mozambique, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, Sudan, Swaziland and Zambia.

The list includes four individual carriers: Blue Wing Airlines (Surinam), Meridian Airways (Ghana), Rollins Air (Honduras) and Silverback Cargo Freighters (Rwanda).

Additionally, the list includes 11 air carriers, which are allowed to operate into the EU under strict restrictions and subject to conditions: Air Astana from Kazakhstan, Air Koryo from the Democratic People’s 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.
Airlines Black List - Explanations

How the Authorities control worldwide airlines?

On December 7th 1944, 52 countries have endorsed the Chicago convention, and agreed to set up and applied a technical regulation based on the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) directives. The Chicago convention applied since April 4th 1947. All the organisations implied in the aviation safety are concerned: airlines, maintenance workshop, training school, crews … Charter and regular airlines are controlled by the Civil Aviation Authority of the state where they have set their main base. Therefore, the National Authority of an airline is responsible for ensuring that its air carrier operators comply with the minimum safety oversight standards established by the ICAO. Only the National Authority of the airline has a global knowledge of the safety level of its airline, and can decide whether or not the airline is allowed to carry passengers. Then, it is the responsibility each country to ensure that every foreign airlines have been allowed to fly by their National Authority.
What technical controls are performed by the European Authority on foreign airlines?

In addition to the complete and systematic controls under the responsibility of the National Authority of the airline, the European states have set up a program called SAFA (Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft), which consists in performing punctual and unexpected controls. These controls do not replace the National Authority continuing oversight and surveillance, but ensure that the airlines comply with the international safety requirements. For example, aircraft documentation, crew licenses, flight deck and cabin safety systems, general aircraft aspect, cargo loading are verified. These controls are made in such a way that the aircraft is not delayed. Consequently, depending on the timeframe available during the aircraft stop, these controls can be extensive enough to definitely ensure that the aircraft is safe, or too short and allow an unsafe airline to be undetected. Following a control, the airline can be requested to correct a deviation before the next take-off. Its National Authority can be warned. In the worst case, in case of a serious deviation, an airline can be banned from a country until it has demonstrated compliance with the international safety standards. The purpose of these controls is to set an additional surveillance of the foreign airlines, and that all foreign airlines know that they can be controlled and sanctioned anythime when they land in Europe. All these controls are carried out by dedicated teams.
I have to get in an aircraft. Is the airline safe?

A National Authority is in charge of the continuing oversight and surveillance of the national airlines. An air transportation certificate (or an equivalent document) is issued by the National Authority for an airline when it has been demonstrated that the airline complies with the safety standards requested by the international current regulation. This certificate is given to foreign airlines by their own Authority. Others Authorities have only few pieces of information about foreign airlines. Data comes from the ground control performed in the frame of the SAFA program. Moreover, thanks to the SAFA program, a European National Authority has access to the ground control performed by the others European National Authorities. But these controls are not enough for a complete evaluation of the safety level of an airline. Therefore, the European countries worked together in order to establish a European black list. This list informs the passengers of the airlines whose safety level has been judged unsatisfactory by the European Authorities.
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