ASTANA – The European Commission approved Dec. 8 all Kazakh airlines to fly to all European member states. Some Kazakh airlines had earlier been restricted due to safety concerns.
“The EU Air Safety list is one of our main instruments to continuously offer the highest level of air safety to Europeans. I am particularly glad that after years of work and European technical assistance, we are today able to clear all Kazakh air carriers. This also is a positive signal for all the countries that remain on the list. It shows that work and cooperation pay off. The commission and the European Aviation Safety Agency are ready to assist,” said European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc.
The approvals were part of an update to the EU Air Safety List, which restricts airlines that don’t meet international safety standards. The list protects public safety and helps countries who seek to fly in the EU improve safety measures. One hundred and ninety-three airlines remain banned from flying in the EU following the latest update.
The update is based on the unanimous opinions of EU safety experts who met Nov. 22-24 within the EU Air Safety Committee (ASC). This committee is chaired by the European Commission with the support of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Assessment is made against international safety standards and notably the standards promulgated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
As part of the Aviation Strategy presented in December 2015, the commission announced its intention to evaluate Regulation (EC) No 2111/2005, which established the Air Safety List. This evaluation will assess the best ways to protect passengers against unsafe air carriers.
One such way is to work with international aviation authorities to raise global safety standards. With the support of the European Commission, EASA is, therefore, implementing technical cooperation projects with partner countries and regions. One example is the Eastern Partnership/Central Asia Project. Through this project, EASA works with Eastern European and Central Asian states to ensure their participation in the pan-European civil aviation system and supports civil aviation authorities’ international safety and security obligations.