Ukrainian aircraft banned from UAE airspace
Dubai, February 22, 2010
The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said it has decided to ban Ukraine's Antonov An-12 aircraft from UAE's airspace from March 1, in a move aimed at raising safety standards in the emirate's civil aviation sector.
The decision was made after the GCAA, in cooperation with international specialized organizations, set up a special technical committee to determine airworthiness of the foreign aircraft flying to the UAE airports.
The technical committee conducted a technical audit on Antonov Design Bureau, the design organisation in Ukraine for An – 12 aircraft to determine the airworthiness of this aircraft. The audit team also assessed the civil aviation administration system in Ukraine, said a top official.
'The audit fially showed that the aircraft does not meet all of the international safety standards,' stated Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, director general of the GCAA.
He said the GCAA focuses on the safety and security of the civil aviation sector in the UAE and applies strict standards in assessing the levels of security and safety with the operators of aircraft registered in the UAE.
Ismail Mohammed Al Balooshi, director of Safety at GCAA said that at the beginning of last year, GCAA started applying an advanced program which particularly allows the assessment of aircraft registered in foreign countries in order to ensure their safety and airworthiness.
'There were numerous incidents that involved Antonov aircraft in year 2008, including three minor incidents at Sharjah International Airport and one crash in Iraq,' Al Balooshi disclosed.
'That is why GCAA made an initial decision to temporarily ban this aircraft model which posed a threat to air safety, pending the results of the assessment by the technical committee regarding the airworthiness of Antonov An-12. The assessment showed that this aircraft can not be operated safely,' he added.
He said this action aims at protecting the interests of the UAE in terms of security, safety and protection of the people and facilities, and that the safety and security of civil aviation is a top priority for the civil aviation legislative authority.-TradeArabia News Service