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Aviation: Commission updates the EU Air Safety List to ensure highest level of protection for passengers

The EU Air Safety List seeks to ensure the highest level of air safety for European citizens, which is a top priority of the Commission's Aviation Strategy. With today's update, one airline, Avior Airlines (Venezuela), is added to the list, while two others - Mustique Airways (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) and Urga (Ukraine) - are removed following safety improvements.

Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: "Our objective is to offer the highest level of safety in European skies. The EU's Air Safety List remains one of our most effective tools to achieve this. Today we are showing that with our help, airlines can be quickly removed from the list when they tackle their safety issues. Work pays off and I hope that the example of Mustique Airways and Urga will inspire others."

Avior Airlines (certified in Venezuela) is added to the list due to unaddressed safety deficiencies that were detected by the European Aviation Safety Agency during the assessment for a third country operator authorisation (TCO)[1]. On the contrary, Mustique Airways and Aviation Company Urga – which are respectively certified in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Ukraine – made safety improvements since their inclusion to the Air Safety List in May 2017. This allows them to be today removed from the list.

The EU Air Safety List not only helps to maintain high levels of safety in the EU, but it also helps affected airlines and countries to improve their levels of safety, in order for them to eventually be taken off the list. In addition, the EU Air Safety List has become a major preventive tool, as it motivates countries with safety problems to act upon them before a ban under the EU Air Safety List would become necessary.

Following today's update, a total of 178 airlines are banned from EU skies:

  • 172 airlines certified in 16 states[2], 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).

Background information

Today's update of the Air Safety List is based on the unanimous opinion of the aviation safety experts from the Member States who met from 13 to 15 November 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). The update equally got the support from the European Parliament's Transport Committee. Assessment is made against international safety standards, and notably the standards promulgated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

The Commission is constantly looking at ways to improve air safety. One such way is to work with aviation authorities worldwide to raise global safety standards. With this in mind, EASA is therefore implementing technical cooperation projects with partner countries and regions. An example is the "Improving air transport in Central Africa" (ATA-AC) project, where EASA works with a number of African states on several aspects of aviation safety. More information on technical cooperation projects is available here.

For more information:

List of airlines banned within the EU 

Importance of aviation for the European economy

EASA Technical Cooperation Projects

[1] Since November 2016, all non-EU airlines wishing to fly to the EU need a single safety authorisation valid throughout Europe, called "third country operator authorisation" or TCO.

[2]Afghanistan, Angola (with the exception of one airline which operates under restrictions and conditions), Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon (with the exception of 2 airlines which operate under restrictions and conditions), Indonesia (with the exception of 7 airlines), the Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Libya, Nepal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone and Sudan.

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Zimbabwe: 1 million people now on HIV treatment

New York, 30 Nov— Zimbabwe, one of the countries most affected by the HIV epidemic, is now providing antiretroviral treatment to 1 million people living with HIV. This considerable achievement is the result of a determined effort to scale up the HIV response over the last decade and strong commitment from Government with support from development partners. Additional funding of US$502 million has been approved by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) to support HIV, tuberculosis and malaria programmes for the next three years, managed through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the leadership of the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare.

While HIV remains a major health challenge in Zimbabwe, with 1.3 million people living with HIV at the end of 2016, the dramatic scale up of the HIV response is remarkable.  Due to access to antiretroviral treatment, there have been more than 49,000 deaths averted in 2016 alone and 393,000 deaths averted since 2006 in the country. In 2005, just 12,000 people living with HIV in Zimbabwe had access to life-saving HIV treatment. The decline of life expectancy in Zimbabwe, which had reached 41 years in 2003, has also been reversed, reaching 61 years in 2015.

“As a country we have come a long way in addressing the challenge of HIV,” said the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care,  Brigadier General Dr. Gerald Gwinji. “The one million antiretroviral treatment milestone has been a remarkable journey, thanks to the effective leadership of Government and the good partnership with our development partners.  We have in a decade, managed to turn the tide in the fight against this killer disease by boosting the resilience of our health care system and ensuring that effective services are available to those most in need including people living with HIV,” he further added.

Out of the total funding, $426 million will focus on ensuring universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services, with an emphasis on eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and ensuring prevention programmes are serving adolescents, youth and key populations at higher risk of HIV.

Bishow Parajuli, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Zimbabwe says, “Zimbabwe has made great strides in increasing access to treatment. This new milestone means that 1 million people living with HIV are now able to live longer, healthier and more productive lives. UNDP looks forward to continuing our strong partnership with the Government of Zimbabwe, the Global Fund, development partners, all components of the UN system, civil society and affected communities to help achieve SDG3 and make sure we leave no-one behind.”

UNDP plays a key role in supporting countries facing challenging circumstances to access Global Fund resources and has worked closely with the Government of Zimbabwe over the last 15 years to support the delivery of life-saving HIV services, while simultaneously helping to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Health and Child Care.

Media Contacts:

UNDP New York: Sangita Khadka, Communications Specialist, UNDP Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, sangita.khadka@undp.org Tel: +1 212 906 5043

UNDP in Zimbabwe: Sammy Mwiti, Communications Specialist, UNDP Zimbabwe, sammy.mwiti@undp.org, Tel: + 263 4338 836 - 44

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Globeleq Increases Stake in South African Renewables

LONDON, Nov. 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Globeleq, a leading developer, owner and operator of electricity generation projects in Africa, has increased its shareholding in the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, De Aar Solar and Droogfontein Solar power projects in South Africa, by acquiring Mainstream Renewable Power’s minority shareholdings in the three plants. Globeleq will fund the acquisition through […]
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