The European Commission has updated the EU Air Safety List, which is the list of airlines that are subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union, because they do not meet international safety standards. Following the update, 21 airlines certified in Russia are now included on the EU Air Safety List. This reflects serious safety concerns due to Russia's forced re-registration of foreign-owned aircraft, knowingly allowing their operation without valid certificates of airworthiness. This is in breach of international aviation safety standards.
Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said: "The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency has allowed Russian airlines to operate hundreds of foreign-owned aircraft without a valid Certificate of Airworthiness. The Russian airlines concerned have knowingly done so in breach of relevant international safety standards. This is not only a clear breach of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (the Chicago Convention), but it also poses an immediate safety threat. We are living in the context of Russia's unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine. However, I want to make it crystal-clear that this decision is not another sanction against Russia; it has been taken solely on the basis of technical and safety grounds. We do not mix safety with politics."
Following the update, a total of 117 airlines are banned from EU skies:
- 90 airlines certified in 15 different States (Afghanistan, Angola (with the exception of 2 airlines), Armenia, Congo (Brazzaville), Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Libya, Nepal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone and Sudan), due to inadequate safety oversight by the aviation authorities from these States;
- 21 airlines certified in Russia, as well as 6 individual airlines from other States, 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).
Two additional airlines are subject to operational restrictions and can only fly to the EU with specific aircraft types: Iran Air (Iran) and Air Koryo (North Korea).
The update to the EU Air Safety List is based on the unanimous opinion of Member State aviation safety experts, who met on 5 April 2022 under the auspices of the EU Air Safety Committee, via videoconference. This committee is chaired by the Commission with the support from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency. The update has the support of the European Parliament's Transport Committee. Decisions under the EU Air Safety List are based on international safety standards, and notably those of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
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