The European Commission (EC) removed all Indonesian carriers from the European Union (EU) Air Safety List after aviation safety improvements in the country and as a system to prevent unsafe aircraft from entering European airspace starts operating.

The EU Air Safety List compiles airlines that do not meet international safety standards and are therefore banned from operating, or face operations restrictions, within the EU.

All Indonesian airlines were added to the list in 2007 because of safety concerns. Seven Indonesian carriers had been removed over the past year.

EU transport commissioner Violeta Bulc said: “I am particularly glad that after years of work, we are today able to clear all air carriers from Indonesia. It shows that hard work and close cooperation pay off. I am also satisfied that we now have a new warning system to prevent unsafe aircraft from entering European airspace.”

Following close cooperation with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the EC, Eurocontrol is deploying a new system to prevent unsafe aircraft from entering European airspace.

Since November 2016, any non-European aircraft that enters the EU needs to have “third country operator authorization” (TCO), a single safety authorization valid throughout Europe. The new system will alert air traffic controllers of all member states if an aircraft without the authorization is trying to fly to the EU and deny the aircraft access to the airspace of that member state.

The removal of the remaining Indonesian carriers leaves 119 airlines banned from EU skies: 114 that are certified in 15 states are on the list because of the lack of safety oversight by aviation authorities in those countries.

Five airlines—Iran Aseman Airlines, Iraqi Airways, Blue Wing Airlines from Suriname, Med-View Airlines from Nigeria and Air Zimbabwe—remain on the list because of safety concerns about them as individual airlines. 

Six more airlines—Afrijet and Nouvelle Air Affaires SN2AG from Gabon, Air Koryo from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Comores Air Service from the Comoros, Iran Air and TAAG Angola Airlines—are subject to operational restrictions, meaning they can only fly certain aircraft types to the EU.

Helen Massy-Beresford, helen.massy-beresford@aviationweek.co.uk