Kam Air incidents preceded Afghan carrier ban by EU

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Afghanistan's blanket blacklisting by the European Commission followed a series of incidents involving Afghan carrier Kam Air which reinforced the perception of inadequate safety oversight.

While Ariana Afghan Airlines had already been blacklisted, the Commission banned all operations into Europe by Afghan operators earlier this week.

Further details on the blacklisting disclosed by the European air safety committee reveal that a Kam Air McDonnell Douglas DC-8 suffered a tailstrike on the runway, and on the grass surface beyond, while departing Manston Airport in the UK on 11 August.

Kam Air was blocked from operating in the UK the following month after investigators concluded there were "serious deficiencies with the operational control of the DC-8 fleet", states a Commission document on the blacklisting.

During a meeting in October, to discuss the Manston incident, Kam Air was "unable to demonstrate" that it was capable of complying with international safety standards.

The Commission states that the DC-8 aircraft had been introduced to service in March this year "without adequate management oversight and without any adequate training given to the crews recruited to operate the aircraft".

"Furthermore these crews had yet to complete the relevant training even though the aircraft continued to be used for international commercial flights," it states.

"In addition the air carrier did not provide any evidence that the flight crew were current in their flying duties at the time of the serious incident in the UK."

Kam Air came under similar scrutiny from Austrian authorities in September when ramp inspections on a Boeing 767 at Vienna discovered "serious failures" in operational procedures, equipment, cargo loading and other aspects.

Austrian regulators also banned the carrier, two weeks after the UK.

Kam Air claimed that the 767 had been returned to service after a long period in storage and admitted not preparing it properly for operation, while management resources had been overstretched in the case of the DC-8.

The Commission says it has been informed that Kam Air no longer operates the DC-8, although there has been confusion over whether the carrier is formally authorised to conduct DC-8 operations.