SNP Welcomes EU Plan To Blacklist Unsafe Airlines

05 December 2005
SNP Europe spokesman, Alyn Smith MEP, has today (Monday) welcomed the European Council's adoption of European Parliament's proposals to create a Europe-wide blacklist of unsafe airlines and improved rights for passengers. The new regulation will come into force early next year.

Mr Smith, who has been a vocal supporter of such action, has hailed the move as a step forward for passenger safety and an example of positive action from the European Union.

Mr Smith said:

"Passengers across Europe can now look forward to more information on their airline and a greater sense of security that the airline they are flying with is as safe as they can be.

"If an airline has been blacklisted in one EU state, people want to know about it, so I welcome the decision to have a common EU framework. Now, if an airline is banned for its safety record in one member state, it will be banned in them all.

"Giving passengers the legal right to know who will be operating their flight is a significant step in consumer protection. I myself have been booked on flights where I have only discovered the identity of the carrier at check-in, so I welcome proposals for greater consumer information and awareness.

"This is exactly the kind of action Europe should be taking, with all the member states co-operating and by acting together achieving a greater security for our citizens than by acting alone."

Note to Editors

The Council, the 25 Minister gathering of member state representatives which co-legislates with the European Parliament, today agreed with the European Parliament amendments to a proposal to create a common blacklist of unsafe air carriers.

Under the new regulations which will be published in early 2006 member states will provide the Commission with regular information on airlines blacklisted for serious safety deficiencies or a failure to enforce safety standards.

The combined list will be published on the internet and should be made available by airports. Passengers will have the right to know who is operating their flight, to be informed of any changes to the operator of their flight and to compensation if the operator is placed on the blacklist.