Three Regional Airlines Banned by EU in New Blacklist Update

Caribbean News Now, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Apr 04, 2012

The European Commission adopted on Tuesday the 19th an update of the European list of air carriers, including three Caribbean airlines, which are for safety reasons subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union, better known as "the EU air safety list".

Conviasa, an air carrier certified in Venezuela, was added to the list due to safety concerns. The other two are Blue Wing Airlines of Suriname and Rollins Air of Honduras.

According to the Commission, an operating ban on Conviasa was necessary due to numerous safety concerns arising from accidents and the results of ramp checks at EU airports. The safety performance of two other Venezuelan air carriers, Estellar Latinoamerica and Aerotuy, was also reviewed in depth; however, measures were not considered necessary at this stage. Nonetheless, these two air carriers remain subject to increased monitoring.

The vice-president of the European Commission responsible for transport, Siim Kallas, said: "The Commission is ready to spare no effort to assist its neighbours in building their technical and administrative capacity to overcome any difficulties in the area of safety as quickly and as efficiently as possible. In the meantime, safety comes first. We cannot afford any compromise in this area. Where we have evidence inside or outside the European Union that air carriers are not performing safe operations, we must act to guarantee to exclude any risks to safety."

The decision is based on the unanimous opinion of the Air Safety Committee, composed of representatives of the 27 member states of the EU, Croatia, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

The Commission recognised the efforts of the safety oversight authorities of Aruba to reform the civil aviation system and notably to improve safety to guarantee that international safety standards are effectively and consistently applied.

The Commission said it is ready to provide active support for these reforms in cooperation with ICAO, EU member states and the European Aviation Safety Agency.