updated 6/20/2006 12:17:39 PM ET 2006-06-20T16:17:39

The European Union added three airlines based in developing nations to a safety blacklist Tuesday, banning them from landing at European airports and it also imposed restrictions on a fourth.

The EU-wide list, created in March, is part of a broader European effort to improve passenger safety. Two years ago the European Aviation Safety Agency was set up to adopt and enforce safety standards.

Most of the 92 airlines put on the list in March were from Africa.

The airlines added Tuesday were Blue Wing, based in Suriname, and two Kyrgyzstan-based airlines: Sky Gate International and Star Jet. Air West, based in Sudan, faces partial restrictions.

Buraq Air, based in Libya, previously subject to operational restrictions on its cargo activities, was taken off the list because it no longer has cargo operations.

EU spokesman Stefaan De Rynck told reporters that none of the passenger airlines originally placed on the blacklist were taken off; however, he said the list would be reviewed every three months.

He said the publishing of the EU safety list has had an effect on improving airline safety in Europe and elsewhere.

“We have seen an important impact of a European ban which weighs much more heavily than a national ban,” De Rynck said. “Individual companies ... or individual countries like Equatorial Guinea have contacted us with corrected action plans, tried to prove also that they have now stepped up efforts to ensure air worthiness.”

He said the European Commission had also given euro 5 million ($6.3 million) in special aid to Congo to help it improve airline safety.

The EU has barred 50 carriers from Congo alone.

De Rynck said other countries like Japan and Australia have asked to compare lists with the EU as has the International Civil Aviation Authority, the U.N.’s technical agency for aviation.

The ICAO said it would seek to improve airline safety by starting to post on the Internet aviation safety audits for different countries, and singling out nations that refused to do so by March 2008.

EU governments agreed to set up a blacklist after a series of air accidents last summer. A Cypriot jet crashed in Greece, several planes went down in South America, and an Indonesian plane slammed into a neighborhood seconds after takeoff.

The next updated list is expected in September, officials said.

The blacklist, based on information from the bloc’s 25 nations, applies to all EU countries, Norway and Switzerland.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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