Tripoli , March 29 2012:
The Libyan government has produced a notably low key response to what amounts to an EU ban on aircraft . . .[restrict]from Libyan Airlines and Afriqiyah Airways from entering European airspace
Transport Ministry under-secretary Fawzi Bitamr said yesterday that in persuading the Libyan Civil Aviation Authority to stop Libyan aircraft movements into Europe, the European Commission had been acting in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation rules on flight safety and airport security. Libya is one of the 186 countries that has signed up to the ICAO charter.
“The ministry is working hard to fully normalise the transportation sector, as a first goal of its contribution to achieve stability to the Libyan state during the transition period,” said Bitamr, “ and prepare a road map for governments to come, in areas such as aircraft maintenance, the provision of spare parts and the necessary service and maintenance of airports after the damage they have sustained.”
The under-secretary indicated that despite its best efforts, the Libyan Civil Aviation Organisation has been overwhelmed by safety and security demands. Not only was the certification of key flight deck and maintenance personnel out of date, but Brussels had serious concerns about the quality of security checks in major airports, which until recently were not under the full control of the government.
Bitamr said the coming week’s cabinet meeting would be asked to set aside a budget to address the concerns of Brussels and bring order and co-ordination to the current dislocations in civil aviation.
He emphasised that the EU decision should not be taken as a ban in the strictest sense: “It is only to prevent Libyan airplanes from landing in European airports because we failed to comply with the requirements of the EU. This does not mean that requirements of European Union are the same as requirements of the rest of the world.” [/restrict]