European Parliament endorses airline blacklist

16 November 2005
"This move will benefit all travellers in the EU"

Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith yesterday (Tuesday) joined with other European Parliamentarians to endorse proposals for a Europe wide blacklist of unsafe planes.

The proposals followed a series of accidents in the summer and coincide with moves by the European Commission to create a European Air Safety Authority to ensure the highest level of standards apply in all EU countries and protect all EU citizens.

Speaking after last night's parliamentary debate Mr Smith said

"Scots, as part of the EU are becoming increasingly frequent travellers. The rise of budget airlines means we are taking many more flights to many more destinations"

"It is important that this increase in travel is matched by improvements in safety, and setting common standards across Europe under an EU wide agency is the best way to go about this. This is a clear demonstration of EU added value, where the Union together is greater than the sum of its parts"

"What's more the blacklist and these safety standards will also apply to any non-EU carriers using European airports, so standards can be pushed up across the globe and passengers will have access to as much information about the airline as possible. Safety standards in Scotland have always been high, this means that travellers can now expect the same where ever they are in Europe."


Note to Editors

Full text of Alyn Smith MEP's speech below

"Alyn Smith (Verts/ALE). - Mr President, it is fitting, at this time of reflection on what the European Union actually stands for, that we should be discussing tonight this clear demonstration of EU added value, where the Union together is greater than the sum of its parts. I do not believe that the EU brings automatic added value in all its spheres of competence, but it clearly does in this instance.

Air travel forms such a large part of our interconnected Europe and our interconnected world that it is amazing, in many ways, that we have not passed proposals such as this before now. The Member States acting alone have not achieved a sufficient degree of consumer protection. The Union, acting now, will give its citizens the consumer protection they deserve. This EU action is both proportionate and appropriate. If an airline has been blacklisted in one EU state, people want to know about it, so I welcome proposals for a common EU framework. 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.

I wish personally to congratulate the rapporteur for negotiating this complex issue. I hope that the House and our colleagues, when they arrive tomorrow, will unite around her.