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EC flight ban: Commission reports on local airlines

SEVERAL airlines operating in Cambodia have lost their licences in the last year, and Siem Reap Airways remains banned from operating in Europe because of safety concerns, a European Commission representative said yesterday.

Detailing a recent EC review of Cambodian air operations, press officer Dale Kidd wrote that Siem Reap Airways had been involved in a recertification process since January 2009, but remained barred from operating in Europe.

“The situation remains unchanged, as no new information was provided by the competent authorities of [Cambodia],” he wrote.

The State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA), Cambodia’s aviation governing body, suspended Siem Reap Airways in February 2009 following an audit by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. But some progress has been made. An ICAO mission pegged “the lack of effective implementation” of its standards at 71 percent in 2007 but 58 percent in October 2009, a report released yesterday said.

Several air carriers previously licenced by Cambodia have also seen the expiration or revocation of their local permits. The permit for Helicopter Cambodia expired in October and was not renewed, Sokha Airlines’ was revoked in October, and licences of Angkor Airways and PMT Air were revoked in April this year.

Cambodia Angkor Air remains uncertified in the Kingdom, said Dale Kidd, and is running as a brand of Vietnam Airlines.

Civil Aviation director general Chea Aun declined comment.

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