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Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines

Press Release
Manila, 10 July 2013

EU announces lifting of the air ban for Philippines Airlines

The European Commission has updated today for the 21st time the European list of airlines subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union, better known as "the EU air safety list". Following improvements in the safety situation in the Philippines, Philippine Airlines is the first airline from this country allowed back into European skies since 2010.

Siim Kallas, Commission Vice-President responsible for transport, said: "The EU air safety list was created for the protection of European skies and citizens, but it can also serve as a wake-up call to countries and airlines in need to get their safety house back in order. Today we confirmed our willingness to remove Philippines airlines from the list as they show real commitment and capacity to implement international safety standards in a sustainable manner."

The new list replaces and updates the previous one, adopted in December 2012, and can 1 be consulted on the Commissions website . Taking into account the improved safety oversight provided by the competent authorities of the Philippines, and the ability of the air carrier Philippine Airlines to ensure effective compliance with relevant aviation safety regulations, and following an on-site safety assessment visit last June, it was decided to lift the ban affecting this carrier registered in the Philippines. For all other carriers registered in the Philippines the ban remains, as further progress is still needed to reach effective compliance with relevant aviation safety regulations. Today's Commission decision was based on the unanimous opinion of the EU Air Safety Committee in which safety experts from each of the 28 Member States participate, as well as from Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and EASA. Ambassador Ledoux commented: "This is a confirmation of the great work performed by our Filipino partners, especially CAAP and Philippines Airlines, in addressing air safety issues. It is a real pleasure to congratulate General Hotchkiss and his team personally for the extraordinary work they have done."

Background information
All air carriers from the Philippines were banned from the EU in March 2010 following very poor results from an ICAO audit in 2009 which led to a significant safety concern (SSC) being issued by ICAO. A follow-up audit by ICAO in October 2012 showed some improvements had been made, however the SSC was not removed and another added. A further audit in February 2013 found sufficient progress had been made to lift both the SSCs. The Commission conducted an on-site visit between 3 & 7 June 2013 to verify the situation, and to provide information for the Air Safety Committee (ASC) to aid the deliberations on any potential lifting of the current restrictions.

Contacts: Helen Kearns (+32 2 298 76 38) Dale Kidd (+32 2 295 74 61)