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Only 3 Bulgarian Carriers Fit for European Certificate

Date: 20.12.2006

Only three of all fifteen Bulgarian air companies currently comply with the standards to land a European certificate for a community carrier, the transport minister said.

Minister Mutafchiev specified that the safeguard clause, which the European Commission decided to invoke, will exclude Bulgarian air carriers from the benefit of serving flights between two other member states, e.g. London-Paris.

The minister conceded that his department is not ready to implement the required measures until the deadline this year.

Earlier in the day the European Commission justified its decision by saying that the deficiencies - inability to exercise correctly the oversight of aircraft personnel and maintenance organisations - were identified last year already.

"An action plan was elaborated by the Bulgarian authorities to solve the problems. However, faced by lack of implementation of the plan, a warning signal was given by the Commission in its latest Report of the 26 September 2006 on the Enlargement process, stating that improvements were urgently needed and the Bulgarian authorities were supposed to fulfil their obligations regarding this assessment."

The attention of Prime Minister and the Transport Minister was repeatedly drawn to this situation. A new visit was performed by EASA before the date of accession. Unfortunately, it proved that the situation remains unsatisfactory.

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