Italy's civil aviation authority, Enac, has clamped down on several of the country's small regional airlines in its first moves to tighten regulatory inspections following its reorganisation in 1997.

Air Sicilia is back in operation following the grounding of the chief pilot for failing to comply with numerous procedural requirements, effectively grounding the Palermo-based carrier's two Boeing 737s and one ATR 42. A new chief pilot has been approved by Enac.

Another new entrant on the Italian regional market, SiFly, was briefly grounded after Enac suspended its operator's licence. The carrier had failed to complete fully the required flight and maintenance log books for the ATR 42 which crashed in Kosovo on charter to the United Nations in November, killing all 24 people on board.

The civil aviation authority has also taken action over Italair, a carrier based in Rome that operates a network including Pisa and Alghero, in Sardinia, with three ATR 42s. The dispute is over the large debt Italair has amassed through non-payment of landing charges and handling services with airport authority Aeroporti di Roma.

Another troubled regional is Sicilian Med Airlines. The carrier has cut its fleet to two Saab 2000s and suspended scheduled services. Its sole activity is to carry out wet-lease operations for Meridiana for flights from Florence.

Source: Flight International