By Libya Herald reporters.
Tunis, 5 June 2016:
Italy wants EU airspace reopened to Libyan aircraft. The news surfaced after Government of National . . .[restrict]Accord transport minister-designate Milad Mohamed Matouk visited his Italian counterpart, Graziano Delrio in Milan.
At a press conference afterwards, Delrio talked of reopening airspace with Libya as well a restarting work on the Qaddafi-era project for a coastal motorway from the Tunisian to the Egyptian borders. He spoke of helping Libya improve its aviation industry. Before the destruction of Tripoli International Airport an Italian firm had won a large air traffic control contract.
Libyan-registered aircraft have been unable to fly in EU airspace since 2012 . At that time, the Libyan Civil Aviation Authority had stopped Libyan carriers from going to Europe rather than have a formal EU ban which would have been harder to lift. However, in 2014 the EU did impose a formal ban. The EU Air Safety Committee in Brussels has demanded improvements in Libyan aviation including proper recording-keeping ranging from pilot and ground engineer training to aircraft handling and airport security.
Afriqiyah Airways managed a temporary circumvention of the ban by re-registering some of its aircraft in Ireland. However this workaround was eventually scuppered largely by security and insurance issues.
The only EU airspace through which Libyan carriers have not been stopped from flying is that of Greece. Istanbul flights, originally routed via an east-north dogleg along the Egyptian and eastern Mediterranean coasts, now pass over Greek islands. [/restrict]