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Blacklisted Avior Airlines passes IATA safety audit
19 March 2019

Blacklisted Avior Airlines passes IATA safety audit

Avior Airlines, blacklisted in the European Union, passed the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).

Avior is a Venezuelan airline. It was founded in 1994 and currently has a fleet of five Boeing 737-200; eight Boeing 737-400; and one Airbus A340-300 aircraft.

On 30 November 2017 Avior was added to the List of air carriers banned in the European Union, stating that, at the time there was “clear evidence of serious safety deficiencies on the part of Avior Airlines.”

The IOSA programme is an evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline. IOSA uses internationally recognised quality audit principles and is designed to conduct audits in a standardised and consistent manner. It was created in 2003 by IATA.  All IATA members are IOSA registered and must remain registered to maintain IATA membership.

More information:

File photo of ann Avior Boeing 737-200 (by: Maarten Visser / CC:by-sa)

File photo of ann Avior Boeing 737-200 (by: Maarten Visser / CC:by-sa)

FAA: Vietnam meets international aviation safety standards

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that Vietnam complies with international safety standards and has been granted a Category 1 rating under the agency’s International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program.

A Category 1 rating means Vietnam’s civil aviation authority meets International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards for personnel licensing, operations, and airworthiness. With the Category 1 rating, Vietnamese air carriers that are able to secure the requisite FAA and DOT authority can establish service to the United States and carry the code of U.S. carriers.

FAA audit

The FAA had not previously assessed Vietnam’s civil aviation authority for compliance with ICAO standards. The Category 1 status is based on an August 2018 FAA assessment of the safety oversight provided by the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam.

As part of the FAA’s IASA program, the agency 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 or not foreign civil aviation authorities are meeting ICAO safety standards, not FAA regulations.

To maintain a Category 1 rating, a country must adhere to the safety standards of ICAO, the United Nations’ technical agency for aviation that establishes international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance. IASA information is posted on our website.

ICAO audit

Vietnam’s aviation authority has also been audited by ICAO in 2016, under ICAO’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP). At that time the level of ‘Effective Implementation’ of ICAO standards was above world average for the categories legislation, organization, accident investigation, and ANS. Below world average scores were noted for licensing, operations and aerodromes.

Turkmenistan Airlines banned from into European Union over safety concerns

On 4 February 2018, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) suspended permission for Turkmenistan Airlines to operate services to the European Union.

EASA suspended the airline “pending confirmation that it meets international air safety standards”, without going into details.

Turkmenistan Airlines operates a fleet of 4 Boeing 737-700’s, 8 Boeing 737-800’s, 3 Boeing 757-200’s and 2 Boeing 777-200LR’s. European destinations were Frankfurt, Germany; Paris, France; as well as Birmingham and London in the United Kingdom.


File photo of -Turkmenistan Airlines Boeing 757 (Aero Icarus, CC:by-sa)

South African CAA again suspends CemAir Air Operator Certificates over safety concerns

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) again suspended CemAir’s Part 121 and 135 Air Operator Certificates (AOCs) on Friday, 11 January 2019.

The regulator stated there were “concerns over the systemic failure of the airline’s maintenance controls […] the most recent annual renewal audit revealed CemAir’s inability to prove the continued airworthiness of its fleet.”

CemAir’s two AOC’s had earlier been suspended on December 13, 2018.  On December 18 however, a court order lifted the suspension. A subsequent audit revealed eleven findings of which five  were classified as Level 1. CemAir then submitted a Corrective Action Plan to the CAA for 11 of the findings. The initial plan and subsequent revised versions were reviewed and found to be unacceptable. On 26 December 2018, the SACAA grounded eight of the airline’s aircraft with immediate effect.

The regulator performed additional inspections and learned that the operator could not produce sufficient evidence that maintenance recommendations made by the aircraft manufacturer were fully implemented. The CAA judged the findings to be ‘serious’ and proceeded to immediately suspend CemAir’s Part 121 and 135 AOC’s.



CemAir’s AOC suspension lifted

On December 18 a court order temporarily lifted the South African CAA’s ban of CemAir.

The airline and SACAA reached a settlement, which was made an order of the court. Among others, CemAir was to immediately comply with the weight and balance requirements and appoint a post-holder for Flight Operations.

CemAir’s two AOC’s had been suspended on December 13, 2018

More info:

SACAA media statement 18 December.

South African CAA suspends CemAir Air Operator Certificates over safety concerns

Cemair (Pty) Ltd can no longer operate as an airline or air operator or fly any of its twenty-one aircraft. This follows a decision by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) to suspend two of CemAir’s Air Operator Certificates (AOCs).

The affected AOCs relate to the operator’s permits issued under Part 121 and Part 135 of the Civil Aviation Regulations. The suspension became effective on December 13, 2018.
In addition, the SACAA’s audit team has also recommended to the Director of Civil Aviation to revoke CemAir’s AOCs.
The SACAA’s decision follows a thorough review of CemAir’s Corrective Action Plan (CAP), which sought to address the initial findings unveiled during the annual renewal audit. The CAP or proposed remedial actions by CemAir were found to be unsatisfactory and did not adequately address the findings that were initially raised. In addition records in the SACAA’s possession demonstrated that CemAir has been operating some aircraft outside of permissible loading (weight and balance) limits.
The SACAA also noted with concern that despite being issued with a Prohibition Order, CemAir knowingly continued to fly their aircraft in contravention of the applicable regulatory prescripts.


On December 18 a court order temporarily lifted the ban, according to the SACAA. The airline and SACAA reached a settlement, which was made an order of the court.

More info:

EASA extends validity of conflict zone warning for Yemen to 23 May 2019.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) extended the validity of its Conflict Zone Information Bulletin for Yemen to 23 May 2019.

  • CZIB-2017-07R3: Airspace of Yemen – Sana’a Flight Information Region

The previous extension of the warning was published on 3 September 2018 with a validity until 28 February 2019. The Bulletin references an updated German Notam, which adds the “operations by unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)” to the potential risks in the Sana’a FIR.


Switzerland grounds Ju-52 aircraft over severe structural damage to wing spars

The Federal Office of Civil Aviation FOCA has immediately issued a temporary ban on flights for the Ju-52 Ju-Air stationed in Dübendorf. Inspection of the wreck of the Ju-52 crashed on 4 August 2018 by the Swiss Safety Investigation Board (SUST) revealed severe structural damage to the wing spars. These could not be detected during normal maintenance and inspection. According to current knowledge, however, they are not related to the crash on 4 August. The technical investigations at the SUST are not yet completed.

Following the crash of a Ju-Air Junkers Ju-52 three-engined aircraft on August 4, 2018, the airline restarted operations on August 17 with the two remaining aircraft of the same type. Since there were no indications of general technical defects at this time, the FOCA had approved the resumption of flight operations in compliance with precautionary measures. This also included that the FOCA would announce a flight ban on new findings from the ongoing safety investigations.

Meanwhile, the first results of the investigation by the Swiss TSB were published in the form of an interim report. There is still no evidence that a serious technical problem led to the accident with 20 fatalities. The investigation of the wreck, however, revealed severe structural damage in the form of cracks and corrosion on the main spar, the supporting element of the aircraft wing, and other parts of the aircraft. This damage was hidden during normal inspections and maintenance and could only be determined from the debris.

Since the two Ju-52 HB-HOP and HB-HOS stationed in Dübendorf correspond in age as well as in hours of operation to the crashed machine, it must be ensured that both aircraft do not show this damage. Until this proof has been provided or any damage has been remedied, these two Ju-52s may not be flown for the time being.


EASA withdraws Conflict Zone Information Bulletin for North Korea

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) withdrew its Conflict Zone Information Bulletin (CZIB-2017-06R2) for the North Korean Pyongyang Flight Information Region on October 26, 2018.

Meanwhile, the FAA on 18 September extended their warning to prohibit certain flights in North Korean airspace.


EASA extended Conflict Zone Information Bulletins for Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, and Somalia

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) updated and extended the validity of its Conflict Zone Information Bulletins for Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, and Somalia to 24 April 2019.