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Avior Airlines added to European black list
1 December 2017

Avior Airlines added to European black list

The European Commission updated the EU Air Safety List, adding Avior Airlines (Venezuela), to the list.

Avior Airlines (certified in Venezuela) is added to the list due to unaddressed safety deficiencies that were detected by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) during the assessment for a third country operator authorisation (TCO).

Two airlines were removed from the list: Mustique Airways of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Aviation Company Urga (Ukraine) because they made sufficient safety improvements since their inclusion to the Air Safety List in May 2017.

Following the update, a total of 178 airlines are banned from EU skies:
172 airlines certified in 16 states, due to a lack of safety oversight by the aviation authorities from these states.
Six individual airlines, based on safety concerns with regard to these airlines themselves: Avior Airlines (Venezuela), Iran Aseman Airlines (Iran), Iraqi Airways (Iraq), Blue Wing Airlines (Suriname), Med-View Airlines (Nigeria) and Air Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe).
An additional six airlines are subject to operational restrictions and can only fly to the EU 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).

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New powers for U.K. police to address illegal and unsafe use of drones

Police in the United Kingdom are set to be given powers to prevent the unsafe or criminal use of drones as part of a new package of legislation. 

The draft Drone Bill will give officers the right to order operators to ground drones where necessary. Officers will also be able to seize drone parts to prove it has been used to commit an offence.

New measures will also make it mandatory for drone owners to register to improve accountability. And drone operators will be required to use apps – so they can access the information needed to make sure any planned flight can be made safely and legally. The U.K. government will publish the draft Drone Bill for consultation and introduce secondary legislation amendments in spring 2018. Changes to the Air Navigation Order will mean that that mean:

  • drone users will have to sit safety awareness tests
  • users of drones weighing 250 grams and over will in future have to be registered

The government is also working closely with drone manufacturers to use geo-fencing to prevent drones from entering restricted zones.

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UAE to make geofencing technology mandatory on all drones

The United Arab Emirates’ General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is further regulating the use of drones in the country.

All drones currently used in the UAE, or being imported, must have a serial number as well as geofencing technology installed. This automatically disables drones when the owner attempts to operate one close to airports for example. Under the new law, drones will be inspected upon import.

Also, drones owned by individuals will not be allowed to have video/photo features. Only those used for research, development and security purposes will be exempt. Commercial companies that use drones for filming have their own regulations to meet.

This stricter regulation follows a number of incidents at Dubai International Airport in 2016.


EASA publishes Opinion to address loss of control in-flight at pilot licensing

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) published an Opinion proposing amendments to the training requirements for initial pilot licensing to prevent loss of control in flight situations.

The so called “upset prevention and recovery training” (UPRT) requirements aim to make pilots more resilient in coping with unexpected aircraft upset situations. The requirements are based on International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards and recommended practices and have been developed by EASA in consultation with leading industry experts.

The proposed requirements are expected to be adopted by the European Commission by 8 April 2018. It was agreed with the Member States on 28 June 2017 to provide an additional transition period until 8 April 2019 to implement these UPRT provisions.

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EASA issues safety recommendations for the transport of Portable Electronic Devices containing lithium batteries

EASA issued safety recommendations for the transport of Portable Electronic Devices containing lithium batteries, in the wake of the U.S. and U.K. ban on equipment like laptops to be carried in the passenger cabin on flights from certain countries.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued a Safety Information Bulletin to remind airlines and aircraft operators of important principles for the safe transport of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) containing lithium batteries. These principles should be taken into account by the airlines when they perform their safety risk assessment.

PEDs containing lithium batteries are considered as dangerous goods. When carried by passengers, they should preferably be carried in the passenger cabin. This would enable the crew to react quickly in case an incident involving such PED occurs.

When the carriage of PEDs in the cabin is not allowed, it leads to a significant increase of the number of PEDs in the cargo compartment. Certain precautions should therefore be observed to mitigate the risk of accidental fire in the cargo hold. In particular, PEDs placed in checked baggage must be completely switched off and well protected from accidental activation.

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FAA extends flight prohibition for Libyan airspace

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a new Notam, extending the flight prohibition for certain U.S. aircraft for the Libyan airspace by another two years.

Transport Canada bans drone use near airports

Transport Canada introduced a measure to prevent the reckless use of drones in Canada, banning the use within 9 km of any airport.

TC states that the number of incidents involving recreational drones has more than tripled since 2014, prompting the Minister of Transport to introduce an immediate measure which will affect the operations of model aircraft and recreational drones of more than 250 g and up to 35 kg.

The key new rules are that recreational drone operators must mark their drone with their contact information, and may not fly:

  • higher than 90 metres;
  • at night;
  • within 75 metres of buildings, vehicles or people; or
  • within 9 kilometres of the centre of any airport, heliport, aerodrome or water aerodrome where aircraft take off and land.

Operators of drones for commercial, academic or research purposes are not affected by this measure. The rules that are already in place are effective and most commercial users operate their drones in a safe manner, according to Transport Canada.

Any recreational operator who fails to comply with the new flying restrictions and conditions could be subject to fines of up to $3,000.

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FAA extends conflict zone Notams on Pakistan, Syrian airspace by a year

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration extended the Conflict Zone Notam on Pakistani and Syrian airspace by a year. U.S. pilots are warned about the risks when flying into and out of Pakistan for the potential threat of terrorists using manpads.  For Syria it remains prohibited to conduct flight operations in the Damascus (OSTT) FIR by all U.S. air carriers.

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FAA extends conflict zone Notam on Afghan airspace by a year

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration extended the Conflict Zone Notam on Afghan airspace by a year, warning American pilots to stay at or above FL330 over Afghanistan.


Transport Canada sued in law suit over Air Canada A320 crash

Air Canada 624 as it came to rest (TSB)

Air Canada 624 as it came to rest (TSB)

The Canadian aviation regulator, Transport Canada, is one of the parties being sued in a class action law suit over the accident of Air Canada flight 624 at Halifax in 2015.

The accident occurred when the Airbus A320 hit powerlines and an antenna array as it attempted to land at Halifax International Airport, Canada during a period of snow fall and limited visibility. The aircraft was conducting a Localizer (LOC-Z) approach to runway 05 at the time. Twenty-three occupants were injured.

The lawsuit alleges that Transport Canada breached its duty of care by inadequately monitoring the airport’s compliance with safety requirements and by choosing not to install an ILS for runway 05.

Federal lawyers challenged Transport Canada’s responsibility in court, arguing that the regulator could not be sued because it did not owe a duty of care to the passengers. Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Denise Boudreau decided that even though Transport Canada did not owe a duty of care to the flying public, it had to be included in the lawsuit because as landlord for the airport, it could be held responsible for its navigation systems and other equipment.
Other defendants in the case include Air Canada, the Halifax International Airport Authority, NavCanada and Airbus.

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