Into the lists


The US is not about to sign up to list banned airlines, with Federal Aviation Administrator Marion Blakey says that blacklists “are not the answer, as we see it it now”. She told an international safety conference near Washington that “action by government agencies to oversee airlines is the answer”. Public demand for disclosure of banned carriers grew to fever pitch in Europe after crashes by little-known carriers in recent months-and disclosure that a major crash early, that of Flash Airlines in Egypt in January 2004, was on a carrier that was banned in some EU countries but not in others.

Since then, the Commission has voted in favour of a single, integrated community-wide list of banned airlines. The head of the French civil aviation authority, DGAC Director-General Michel Wachenheim, told the FAA conference that even though blacklists “are not the ultimate solution” they do respond to strong public pressure. But Wachenheim said that a list publication in and of itself does not improve safety since the listed carrier is already banned. And the pressure of media focus is enough to form a de facto backlist, several noted journalists said.

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