Safety regulators are preparing to finalise an update to the 'blacklist' of airlines banned from European Union operations, as early indications suggest EU carriers might be included for the first time.

Ukrainian operators feature on the current blacklist and other states on the continent - notably Bulgaria - have worked to avoid a carrier ban.

Operators from EU countries have so far avoided restrictions. But there are indications from within the European Commission that the Air Safety Committee, which identifies airlines of concern, has been considering carriers from inside its own borders.

Air Safety Committee representatives unanimously supported a draft Commission proposal regarding an update to the blacklist on 5 November.

While the Commission acknowledges speculation over the possible inclusion of four operators from EU countries, it points out that the draft proposal does not only list banned airlines.

The discussions, it says, also cover enforcement measures taken by some member states' civil aviation authorities towards certain operators.

"This does not constitute a ban of these airlines," says the Commission. Finalising of the blacklist update, and its adoption, will take place in about a week's time.

Alongside restrictions on EU operations aimed at specific carriers, blanket bans remain in place on several states in Africa as well as such countries as Kyrgyzstan and Indonesia.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news