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EU adds 20 Russian airlines to EU Air Safety List
12 April 2022

EU adds 20 Russian airlines to EU Air Safety List

The European Commission has updated the EU Air Safety List, which is the list of airlines that are subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union, because they do not meet international safety standards.
Following the update, 21 airlines certified in Russia are now included on the EU Air Safety List. This reflects serious safety concerns due to Russia’s forced re-registration of foreign-owned aircraft, knowingly allowing their operation without valid certificates of airworthiness. This is in breach of international aviation safety standards.

  • Aeroflot – Russian Airlines
  • Alrosa Air Company
  • Aurora Airlines
  • Aviastar-TU
  • Ikar
  • Iraero Airlines
  • Izhavia
  • Nord Wind
  • Nordstar Airlines
  • Pobeda Airlines
  • Rossiya Airlines
  • Rusjet
  • Rusline
  • Siberia Airlines
  • Skol
  • Smartavia Airlines
  • Ural Airlines
  • Utair Aviation
  • Uvt Aero
  • Yakutia
  • Yamal Airlines

EU removes Moldova from blacklist, adds

The European Commission recently updated the EU Air Safety List which is the list of airlines that are subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union as they do not meet international safety standards.

With this update, all airlines certified in Moldova have been removed from the EU Air Safety List, following improvements to aviation safety in the country. One Russian air carrier, Skol Airline, has however been added to the List, due to concerns about its ability to comply with international standards.

Currently 97 airlines are banned from EU skies:

  • 90 airlines certified in 15 states (Afghanistan, Angola (with the exception of 2 airlines), Armenia, Congo (Brazzaville), Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Libya, Nepal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone and Sudan), due to inadequate safety oversight by the aviation authorities from these states;
  • Seven individual airlines, based on serious safety deficiencies identified: Avior Airlines (Venezuela), Blue Wing Airlines (Suriname), Iran Aseman Airlines (Iran), Iraqi Airways (Iraq), Med-View Airlines (Nigeria), Skol Airline LLC (Russia) and Air Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe).

An additional two airlines are subject to operational restrictions and can only fly to the EU with specific aircraft types: Iran Air (Iran) and Air Koryo (North Korea).

South Sudan grounds Nyanbiting Aviation over safety concerns

South Sudan’s Civil Aviation Authority (SSCAA) has ordered the temporary grounding of Nyanbiting Aviation’s Antonov An-26 cargo plane (3D-GSS) over safety concerns.

The CAA claims the aircraft was flown by a captain without a co-pilot, while the plane is certified multi-crew only.

Boeing to Pay at Least $17 Million to Settle Enforcement Cases on 737

Boeing will pay at least $17 million in penalties for safety lapses and undertake multiple corrective actions with its production under a settlement agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The FAA found that Boeing installed equipment on 759 Boeing 737 MAX and NG aircraft containing sensors that were not approved for that equipment; submitted approximately 178 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft for airworthiness certification when the aircraft potentially had nonconforming slat tracks installed; and improperly marked those slat tracks.

Boeing will pay the $17 million penalty within 30 days after signing the agreement. If Boeing does not complete certain corrective actions within specific timeframes, the FAA will levy up to $10.1 million in additional penalties. The corrective actions include but are not limited to:

  • Strengthening procedures to ensure that it does not install on aircraft any parts that fail to conform to their approved design.
  • Performing Safety Risk Management analyses to determine whether its supply-chain oversight processes are appropriate and whether the company is ready to safely increase the Boeing 737 production rate.
  • Revising its production procedures to enable the FAA to observe production rate readiness assessments, the data on which the company bases the assessments, and the results of the assessments.
  • Taking steps to reduce the chance that it presents to the FAA aircraft with nonconforming parts for airworthiness certification or a Certificate of Export.
  • Enhancing processes to improve its oversight of parts suppliers.

The FAA will continue its oversight of Boeing’s engineering and production activities and is actively implementing oversight provisions from the 2020 Aircraft Certification, Safety, and Accountability Act.  

FAA downgrades Mexico safety rating

The U.S. FAA announced that the Government of Mexico does not meet ICAO safety standards. Based on a reassessment of Mexico’s civil aviation authority, the FAA has downgraded Mexico’s rating to Category 2 from Category 1.

While the new rating allows Mexican air carriers to continue existing service to the United States, it prohibits any new service and routes. U.S. airlines will no longer be able to market and sell tickets with their names and designator codes on Mexican-operated flights. The FAA will increase its scrutiny of Mexican airline flights to the United States.

During its reassessment of the Agencia Federal de Aviacion Civil (AFAC) from October 2020 to February 2021, the FAA identified several areas of non-compliance with minimum ICAO safety standards. A Category 2 rating means that the country’s laws or regulations lack the necessary requirements to oversee the country’s air carriers in accordance with minimum international safety standards, or the civil aviation authority is lacking in one or more areas such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record keeping, inspection procedures, or resolution of safety concerns.

Nigeria grounds Azman Air Boeing 737’s for safety audit

Following series of incidents involving Azman Air Boeing 737 aircraft, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) suspended the operations of all the Boeing 737 aircraft in the fleet of Azman Air Services Limited, with effect from March 15, 2021.

The suspension is to enable the NCAA to conduct an audit of the airline to determine the root cause(s) of the incidents, and recommend corrective actions.

The airline currently operates one Airbus A340-600, two Boeing 737-300’s and three Boeing 737-500’s.

In a recent incident a Boeing 737-500 suffered burst tyres upon landing at Lagos Airport, Nigeria.

FAA upgrades Costa Rica’s safety assessment rating

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that the Republic of Costa Rica complies with international safety standards and has been granted the highest international ranking.

Costa Rica received a Category 2 rating in May 2019 after it failed to comply with ICAO’s safety standards. A Category 2 IASA rating means the country either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards for safety matters, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping, or inspection procedures.

The Category 1 status announcement today is based on the reassessments in 2020 and a January 2021 safety oversight meeting with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC). A Category 1 rating means the country’s civil aviation authority complies with ICAO standards. Under Category 1 rating, properly authorized Costa Rican air carriers are permitted to serve the United States and carry the code of U.S. carriers without limitation.

FAA downgrades international safety rating for Pakistan

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that Pakistan has been assigned a Category 2 rating because it does not comply with ICAO safety standards.

Under the International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program, the FAA assesses the civil aviation authorities of all countries with air carriers that have applied to fly to the United States, currently conduct operations to the United States, or participate in code-sharing arrangements with U.S. partner airlines. The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority provides aviation safety oversight for Pakistan.

IASA assessments determine whether foreign civil aviation authorities comply with ICAO safety standards. Air carriers from countries with Category 2 ratings are not allowed to initiate new service to the United States, are restricted to current levels of existing service to the United States, and are not permitted to carry the code of U.S. carriers on any flights. Currently, no airlines operate regularly scheduled flights between Pakistan and the United States.

ICAO also audits it’s member states under the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP). The last audit in Pakistan was conducted in 2011, resulting in an average level of Effective Implementation score of 85%.

The FAA did not elaborate on the reason for their decision, but the news comes three weeks after the Pakistani aviation minister revealed that more than 30% of civilian pilots in Pakistan had fake licenses and were not qualified to fly. These pilots did not take exams themselves but paid someone else to sit it on their behalf.

FAA: Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) does not comply with ICAO safety standards

The U.S. FAA announced that the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) has been assigned a Category 2 safety rating because it does not comply with ICAO safety standards under the FAA’s International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program.

A Category 2 IASA rating means that laws or regulations lack the necessary requirements to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, or that civil aviation authorities are deficient in one or more areas, including technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping, inspection procedures or resolution of safety concerns. The OECS’s carriers can continue existing service to the United States. They will not be allowed to establish new service to the United States.

The Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) provides aviation safety oversight for OECS members Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, as well as St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Under the IASA program, the FAA assesses the civil aviation authorities of all countries with air carriers that have applied to fly to the United States, currently conduct operations to the United States, or participate in code-sharing arrangements with U.S. partner airlines, and makes that information available to the public.

The assessments determine whether foreign civil aviation authorities comply with ICAO safety standards, rather than FAA regulations. A Category 1 rating means the country’s civil aviation authority complies with ICAO standards. A Category 1 rating allows air carriers from that country to establish service to the United States and carry the code of U.S. carriers. To maintain a Category 1 rating, a country must adhere to the ICAO safety standards,

Audit: FAA has not effectively overseen Southwest Airlines’ SMS

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) concluded following an audit, that the FAA has not effectively overseen Southwest Airlines’ safety management system (SMS).
On March 9, 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) established requirements for air carriers to implement a formal, top down approach to identifying and managing safety risks, known as  However, recent events have raised concerns about FAA’s safety oversight, particularly for Southwest Airlines, one of the largest passenger air carriers in the United States.
In early 2018, the OIG received a hotline complaint regarding FAA’s oversight of Southwest Airlines and a number of operational issues at the carrier. Subsequently, in April 2018, Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 suffered an engine failure, killing one passenger on board. In June 2018, the OIG initiated an audit to assess FAA’s oversight of Southwest Airlines’ SMS.
Findings
The audit found that Southwest Airlines continued to fly aircraft with unresolved safety concerns. For example, FAA learned in 2018 that the carrier regularly and frequently communicated incorrect aircraft weight and balance data to its pilots. Southwest Airlines also operated aircraft in an unknown airworthiness state, including more than 150,000 flights on previously owned aircraft that did not meet U.S. aviation standards. In both cases, the carrier continued operating aircraft without ensuring compliance with regulations because FAA accepted the air carrier’s justification that the issues identified were low safety risks.
Also, FAA inspectors did not evaluate air carrier risk assessments or safety culture as part of their oversight of Southwest Airlines’ SMS. This is because FAA had not provided inspectors with guidance on how to review risk assessments or how to evaluate and oversee a carrier’s safety culture.
The audit resulted in eleven recommendations to the FAA to improve its oversight of Southwest Airlines’ SMS. The FAA concurred with all recommendations.
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