European Countries To Blacklist Airlines...

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Heavy Iron, Light On Safety

Britain has published a "blacklist" of airlines banned from landing at its airports due to safety concerns, and France's Civil Aviation Authority now says it will publish its own list online this week. Concerns over airline safety have intensified after 330 people died in four crashes this month. Under the system now in place in Europe, each country conducts its own aircraft inspections, and other countries may not be informed about safety issues. The European Commission has said it will publish a similar list within the next six months, which will apply to all 25 countries in the European Union. Many authorities agree that a continent-wide list is long overdue. "We must start talking about the 'black sheep' of the profession," French Transportation Minister Dominique Perben told Le Monde last week. Perben is also advocating a quality "blue label" for airline companies that perform well, which could be established later this year. The public release of blacklists has been controversial. Aviation analyst Sepp Moser told Swissinfo the practice might do little to enhance safety. "Once [an airline's] name has been on the list they will be destroyed and there will be no incentive to improve the situation," said Moser. "The incentive will be to close down the airline and restart it under a new name, probably without rectifying the problem."