On 16 May 2017, the European Commission updated the EU Air Safety List, a list of non-European airlines subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union because they do not meet international safety standards. The update of the Air Safety List is based on the unanimous opinion of the aviation safety experts from the Member States who met from 25 to 27 April within the EU Air Safety Committee (ASC), which was chaired by the European Commission with the support of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Assessment was made according to international safety standards, and notably the standards promulgated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

The EU Air Safety List helps not only to maintain high levels of safety in the EU, but it also helps countries themselves to improve their levels of safety in order to operate flights to and from airports in the European Union. In addition, the EU Air Safety List has also become a major preventive tool, as it motivates Countries with safety concerns to act upon them before any changes to the EU Air Safety List. The Commission is constantly looking at ways to improve air safety. One such way is to work with aviation authorities worldwide to raise global safety standards. With this in mind, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is therefore implementing technical cooperation projects with different Countries.

Following the update, all airlines certified in Benin and Mozambique will be deleted from the list. On the other hand, due to unaddressed safety deficiencies detected during the assessment for a third country operator authorisation, the European Aviation Safety Agency added four other airlines to the list, namely Med-View (Nigeria), Mustique Airways (San Vincenzo and Grenadine), Aviation Company Urga (Ukraine) and Air Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe).

European Commissioner for Mobility and Transport Violeta Bulc said: “I am glad that we are able to take all carriers from Benin and Mozambique out of the air safety list. Their reforms have paid off. This is also a signal to the 16 countries that remain on the list. It shows that work and cooperation pays off. The Commission and the European Aviation Safety Agency are ready to assist them and raise the safety standards worldwide”.

The EU Air Safety List includes 181 airlines, of which 176 are due to the lack of security controls by State authorities, and 7 for reasons related to the airlines themselves (Iran Aseman Airlines in Iran, Iraqi Airways in Iraq and Blue Wing Airlines in Suriname, Med-View Airlines in Nigeria, Mustique Airways in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Aviation Company Urga in Ukraine and Air Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe). An additional six airlines are subject to operational restrictions and can fly to the EU only with specific aircraft types: Afrijet and Nouvelle Air Affaires SN2AG (Gabon), Air Koryo (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), Air Service Comores (the Comoros), Iran Air (Iran) and TAAG Angola Airlines (Angola).