Inspection of a Jordan Aviation Boeing 767-200ER in France revealed deficiencies so serious the aircraft had to be ferried empty for remedial maintenance.

European Commission air safety regulators detailed the event after blacklisting the Middle Eastern carrier's three 767s, and have expressed reservations over Jordanian civil aviation authorities' ability to oversee airline operations.

Examination of the 767, a 21-year-old airframe registered JY-JAG, turned up "serious airworthiness deficiencies" and ramp inspections pointed to "significant deficiencies in the management of airworthiness and operations" of the type, said the Commission.

Analysis of ramp inspections on Jordanian aircraft since last year led to discussions with Jordan's Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission in September, the Commission added, but these failed to result in "clear evidence of corrective and preventative measures" by the air carriers involved.

"Lack of information regarding the root-cause analysis of the safety deficiencies, coupled with increasingly-poor results of [ramp] inspections observed on several air operators certified in [Jordan], raised some questions on the ability of the competent authorities of that country to conduct appropriately continuous oversight of the air carriers it certified," it said.

Both Jordan Aviation and the CARC gave presentations to the Commission's air safety committee in early November, which prompted a corrective action plan aimed at dealing with the safety issues discovered during the inspections, as well as weak internal processes.

However, while the Commission has acknowledged the effort, it has nevertheless prohibited the carrier from operating the 767s into Europe, citing the "numerous and repetitive" safety issues, doubts over the airline's ability to mitigate the risks, and the lack of regulatory oversight.

Europe's latest blacklist revision cleared Angolan operator TAAG's two Boeing 777-300ERs, a further easing of a strict ban on the carrier in 2007.

While the air safety committee was "very concerned" with Albanian safety oversight, the country's regulator has pre-empted a blacklisting by revoking the air operator's certificate for Albanian Airlines and withdrawing a Boeing MD-82 from the Belle Air fleet.

Honduran operator Rollins Air, which has a diverse fleet including a Boeing 737-200, Lockheed L-1011s, and regional turboprops, has been banned following safety concerns initially raised by French authorities.

Source: Flight International