There are now 181 air carriers on the European Union Air Safety List—meaning they are subject to an operating ban or restrictions in European skies—since the list was recently updated to remove operators based in Benin and Mozambique and to add Med-View of Nigeria, Mustique Airways of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Aviation Co. Urga of Ukraine and Air Zimbabwe.
The public list of banned and restricted air carriers was initiated by a European Commission regulation in 2006. It is periodically updated—generally twice a year—by a group of member-state representatives that make up the European Union Air Safety Committee.
A centralized process is used to authorize third-country operators for commercial air transport in European airspace. The system is managed by the European Aviation Safety Agency, which ensures that all approved foreign air carriers comply with minimum international safety standards, primarily those propagated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
According to the commission, the purpose of the list is two fold: helping “to maintain high levels of safety in the EU” while also encouraging “affected countries to improve their levels of safety.”