Prior to the unfortunate crashing of the Lion Air Flight near Jakarta that saw the death of all 189 passengers and crew onboard, the Indonesian airline had been proscribed from flying in European Union and the United States air space from 2007-2016. Based on the evaluations on national standards of safety for Indonesian carriers and comparing to international standards, the Aviation authorities in both the European Union and the United States gave the airlines a green signal.
The authorities of the European Union and the United States put out their evaluations of air companies often by country and make resources available for fliers when it comes to determining whether their carrier is on a safety preclude.
So here are few questions to look out for before you book your tickets.
- Does the carrier meet the U.S. Safety Standards?
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) runs the International Aviation Assessment Program, or IASA as we may call it, makes sure that the country where a foreign carrier is based, acts in accordance with the safety paradigms found by the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). IASA assesses countries based on 8 criteria taking in factors like how safety concerns are resolved, operating regulations, aviation laws, personnel qualification, training, and civil aviation system and safety oversight functions.
The results are updates regularly and are published by country based on a rating of 1 or 2. 1 stands for “meeting ICAO standards” and 2 for “not meeting those standards”. To check the status of the failing countries, you can go to a website that lists the ratings by country. However, the FAA does not individually rate the airlines.
The airlines that belong to category 2 cannot start their service in the U.S. or establish code shares with the American carriers.
- What are the European Rules?
The EU’s Air Safety List bans or approves airlines from flying in the E.U. airspace. The criteria for the list is as similar to that of FAA.
However, the Lion Air was exculpated from the EU’s blacklist in 2016. The rest of the Indonesian carriers on the list were exculpated in June after it was assured that the country had overcome all the safety obstacles.
Here is the 2018 update of the list. The list includes the airlines that are banned from the EU flying space. The 114 airlines from 15 countries include Nepal, Eritrea, and Afghanistan. As per the website, the mentioned airlines display “lack of safety oversight by the aviation authorities from these states.”
The other 6 individual airlines proscribed based on safety concerns are:
- Iran- Aseman Airlines
- Iraq- Iraqi Airways
- Suriname- Blue Wing Airlines
- Nigeria- Med-View Airlines
- Venezuela- Avior Airlines
- Zimbabwe- Air Zimbabwe
However, the reason behind the Lion Air accident continues to remain under investigation, statistics indicate that flying is generally a safe way to travel.
- Where can we find all the information in one place?
The commercial website AirlineRatings issues safety rating for over 435 carriers worldwide. The website uses a 7-star rating system for evaluating airlines considering the factors like whether they have passed the ICAO country audit; if they are free of fatalities in the past 10 years; if they have passed an operational safety audit with the International Air Transport Association and whether they can fly in the European Union.