European transport experts have been meeting in Brussels to establish criteria for a common airline safety blacklist. This came as Italy grounded all flights run by the Tunisian carrier Tunintair. One of its planes crashed last month in the sea off Sicily, killing 16 people.
Italian investigators say they found it had been fitted with the wrong fuel guage, which fooled the pilots into thinking they had enough kerosene to fly on. Thirty European civil aviation authorities are defining common criteria for an international blacklist, to end discrepancies. France, for instance, authorises Air Mauritania to fly, but not Britain. French conservative Euro-deputy Christine de Veyrac, with broad-based support from other political groups, is pushing to get the information out to the public: “Once we have this blacklist the passengers must know about it. The Commission proposes publishing it on the Internet. It must also be on the member states’ sites. I am asking that it also appear in all the places that air travellers go through: airports, travel agencies, tour operators… Wherever a traveller is likely to find himself.” This recommendation is part of a report a vote on which has been moved forward in the EU agenda, to this November. If successful, its contents would be applicable immediately. The blacklist initiative was originally put forward by the Commission in February. Last month alone four crashes around the world killed more than 330 people.