in Air Transport

Mauritania becomes first country to be freed from the blanket EU aviation ban

Posted 5 December 2012 · Add Comment

Mauritania has become the first country to be freed from an all-inclusive ban on carriers' operating to Europe - although the Commission points out that Mauritanian regulators will only authorise flights to the EU under "strict conditions".

The 20th update of the European list of air carriers which are subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union replaces the previous one established in April this year.

The blacklist revision included a blanket ban on all Eritrean operators. The Commission says this is the result of an "outstanding safety concern" and the "absence of adequate mitigating measures" by Eritrean authorities.

The updated European air safety list also removed certain carriers which ceased to exist or added new carriers recently created in the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Honduras, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines and Rwanda. No carriers of Rwanda and of Honduras are mentioned on the list anymore.

Among the revisions announced yesterday Libyan operators remain banned from European airspace despite making “significant” progress on overcoming the safety issues which led to the voluntary prohibition earlier this year.

The Commission said the Libyan authorities have agreed to maintain the voluntary restrictions which had originally been imposed until 22 November.

"Implementation of the measures decided by the Libyan authorities remains subject to close monitoring," the Commission said in a statement.

EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas said: "The Commission is ready to spare no effort to assist countries affected by the safety list in building technical and administrative capacity to overcome the difficulties in the area of safety as quickly and as efficiently as possible. I am glad that one country and several airlines have been removed from the list. This is important progress. But safety must always come first and we cannot accept any compromise in this area, hence the decision on Eritrea."

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