Europe to name, shame and ban airlines that fail to meet international safety criteria

European regulators expect by the end of this year to adopt legislation to create a “blacklist” of suspect carriers as well as provide passengers with more information regarding the identity of airlines operating specific flights.

Representatives of the European Parliament have given the go-ahead to introduce the blacklist, which will effectively ban from the whole of Europe airlines that fall short of international safety standards.

A compromise agreement on the legislation means that Parliament’s first reading of the proposed legislation will be accepted without amendment. The regulation will come into effect 20 days after its publication in the European Union’s Official Journal, expected in early 2006.

Under the scheme each member state will communicate to the European Commission the identity of carriers that are subject to an operating ban on its territory. This information is to be provided within a month of the regulation coming into effect. 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 be transmitted to all European Union member states.

The blacklist will be published on the internet and in the Official Journal, but organisations such the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), civil aviation authorities, companies selling air tickets, and the air transport industry itself will be responsible for drawing it to the public’s attention.

European transport commissioner Jacques Barrot says: “European citizens will all be able to consult the blacklist of airlines that do not meet European safety criteria.”

Carriers will be included on the blacklist if there is verified evidence of “serious” safety deficiencies, or a “lack of ability or willingness” to address such problems or enforce safety standards – either from the airline itself or its oversight authority.


Source: Flight International