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UAE airspace bans ANTONOV An-12 aircraft


A file photo of ANTONOV An-12 aircraft.

DUBAI (PTI): The UAE has decided to ban ANTONOV An-12 aircraft from its airspace from March 1, after the Ukrainian-built freighter failed in the airworthiness evaluation.

The decision was made after the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), in cooperation with international specialised organisations, 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. The audit showed that the aircraft does not meet all of the international safety standards.

Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of the GCAA, stated that 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 country.

Ismail Mohammed Al Balooshi, Director of Safety at GCAA, said that at the beginning of last year, GCAA started applying an advanced programme 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. 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 cannot be operated safely," he added.

Al Balooshi stressed that this action aims at protecting the interests of the UAE in terms of security, safety and protection of the people and facilities.

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