Europe takes first step to blacklist

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European legislation to create a “blacklist” of suspect carriers came into force as expected last week, paving the way for an effective ban from Europe of airlines falling short of international safety standards.

Representatives of the European Parliament gave the go-ahead in November to introduce the blacklist, with the regulation coming into effect on 16 January, 20 days after its 27 December publication.

Under the scheme each member state will now have until 16 February to communicate to the European Commission the identity of carriers that are subject to an operating ban on its territory.

Within a month of receiving the information the EC will draw up a blacklist based on a set of common criteria. Information on the restricted carriers will then be transmitted to all European Union member states. The blacklist will be published on the internet and in the EU Official Journal.

“This implies that member states have until the 16 February to communicate to the European Commission the name or other identity data of all companies that are blacklisted,” says the EC. “There will then follow a consultation period where member states and also concerned airlines can contact us if they wish. Europe’s first blacklist should probably be published in April.”

AIMEE TURNER / LONDON