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Mobility and Transport
News article16 March 2017Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport

10 years of EU Air Safety List - achievements and room for improvements

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the EU Air Safety List, the list of airlines banned from flying into EU skies because not meeting international safety standards. The Air Safety List has been an incredibly effective tool in all this time: it is preventive and informative for passengers; it has the right flexibility to adapt and change focus depending on the issue at stake; and it helps aviation authorities and industry operators in addressing their safety deficiencies.

European Commission Director-General for Mobility and Transport, Henrik Hololei, said: "Providing the highest level of safety to our people is our number one priority in aviation. The Air Safety List is one of the most efficient tools we ever set up for air passengers. We should never forget however that it is also a tool for the industry: in the end, it is the industry that suffers from a lack of proper safety oversight. The confidence of passengers is hard won, but so easily lost."

The Air Safety List is not free from concerns. One is the growth of the aviation sector, which is not always matched by an increased capacity for safety oversight in certain states. A second one is that in a number of countries the level of aviation safety oversight and the implementation of international safety standards are decreasing.

The European Commission is engaging these countries in order to convince them to reverse this trend and ensure aviation safety for their travellers, as well as our own travellers, before formal action becomes unavoidable.

The Commission is evaluating the Air Safety List Regulation to see whether there is room for improvement in the way the EU deals with international aviation safety. Two public consultations are on their way: one aimed at the general public, and one aimed at experts.


In 2004 and 2005, a series of tragic accidents led to hundreds of fatalities, involving many European passengers. It became clear that often, those passengers had not been informed about the airlines actually operating their flight, nor which country was supposed to provide the necessary safety oversight. In response, the Air Safety List was created.

To date, the List contains 193 airlines from 18 countries and can be consulted on the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport website (DG MOVE), which is the absolute most visited page on this website, with several million clicks each year. The public consultations will also be published on DG MOVE website.


Publication date
16 March 2017
Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport