Comment: open season for political posturing

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This story is sourced from Flight International
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European transport commissioner Antonio Tajani and several French politicians have been pronouncing on the Yemenia Airbus A310 accident in a way that reflects a distressing degree of nationalistic prejudice.

Without any knowledge of what caused the accident, these people have clearly pre-judged the carrier. Meanwhile, a month ago an Air France Airbus A330 tragically went missing over the Atlantic, and in August 2005 an Air France A340 was completely destroyed in a landing at Toronto Pearson airport.

If Yemen's politicians had chosen to adopt the standards of French and EU politics, they could have called for an inquest into the French flag carrier's standards and the competency of the French civil aviation authority. But they didn't.

Suddenly Tajani is calling for European air safety standards to be enforced worldwide. Why now? Anyway, the EU does not have the power to enforce rules or standards outside Europe, and the International Civil Aviation Organisation already has the task of policing global standards. Any influence the EU wants to wield can be exercised through ICAO.

Europe already exercises the right to stop airlines that do not meet ICAO standards from entering EU airspace but, having examined Yemenia, it had chosen not to do that. Then the accident happened and, with no facts whatsoever established, it became open season for the most unpleasant kind of political posturing.