For several years, the European Union has been maintaining an airline black list. The list contains the bottom of the barrel in the aviation world. On it, you won’t find any of the big global carriers, but it is very well represented by countries like Kazakhstan, Angola and the Democratic republic of Congo.
As it turns out, the airline involved in the most recent crash had once been on the black list for incomplete reporting on its fleet inspections.
That crash has now prompted the E.U. transport commissioner, Antonio Tajani to propose turning the the European black list in to a global black list.
As much as I like the idea of sharing this kind of information and turning it into a global list, I’m not sure it will actually make any difference – for a global black list to work, every country in the world will have to participate. Thing is, the kind of country that does not take aviation safety that seriously, is not going to be the kind of country that signs up for the black list, only to ground its own national carrier(s).
A global black list of carriers won’t do anything to prevent any of the recent air disasters we’ve seen – Air France would certainly not deserve a spot on the list, nor would Continental/Air Colgan (involved in the Buffalo crash back in February).
Many of these rickety airlines fly within their own country, or to neighboring countries with similar lax oversight. For a global aviation black list to work, countries should help each other, not simply tell them that they are not welcome to land at their airports. I’m pretty sure that “Sky Gate International” from the Kyrgyz Republic won’t give a damn if the USA tells them to stay away from any of their airports.
The only other option is to increase passenger awareness and get the list promoted, to help people make an informed decision about whether or not to travel with an unsafe carrier. But if that airline is their only option, I’m guessing they’ll take the risk.
The top countries by number of their airlines included in the list:
- Democratic Republic of Congo (57 airlines!)
- Republic of Indonesia (51 airlines)
- Republic of Angola (18 airlines)
- Kyrgyz Republic (17 airlines)
- Equatorial Guinea (9 airlines)
- Sierra Leone (8 airlines)
- Republic of Benin (8 airlines)
- Swaziland (7 airlines)
- Republic of Gabon (7 airlines)
- Republic of Kazakhstan (7 airlines)
Some noteworthy airlines (mainly because of their silly sounding names):
- Helimalongo – Republic of Angola
- Alafia Jet – Republic of Benin
- Golden Rules Airlines – Kyrgyz Republic
- Motor Sikh – Ukraine
- Dames – Kyrgyz Republic