Armenia’s Civil Aviation Committee denies reports on being stripped of license

The Armenian Civil Aviation Committee has dismissed media reports claiming that the Committee had been stripped of license.

“Armenia is a sovereign state and no structure can deprive a government agency operating under the law of the Republic of Armenia of its right to exercise its powers,” the Committee said in a statement.

The comments come after some media outlets in Armenia claimed that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) had deprived the Armenian Civil Aviation Committee of license.

The Committee further clarifies that between February 3 and 7, 2020, experts from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Union visited the country to evaluate the activity of the Committee and two air companies.  On March 6, 2020, the two companies and the Committee received the preliminary evaluation results from EASA, on which the EASA expected to receive the Committee’s opinion to finalize the report on the evaluation results. The Committee will send its observations to the Agency on April 6.

The European Commission plans to present the Agency’s observations and the Committee’s clarifications, at the hearings of the European safety team meeting to be held in Brussels on May 12-14, 2020.

Armenia’s aviation authority reminds that it has repeatedly stated that the Committee has serious problems that are not new, they have a very long history, and time and resources are needed to modernize the structure. Serious and drastic steps are already being taken in that direction.

The Committee notes that the two air companies that were evaluated will temporarily be deprived of the right to fly to European destinations, but may continue their flights to other countries.

Furthermore, the Committee says the decision only applies to airlines registered in Armenia, which make a limited number of flights to European destinations, and this decision will not affect the flights operated by other international companies. In addition, the Committee says it is working closely with the management of the airlines to find solutions to the situation.

The Civil Aviation Committee has also published an open letter by the Regional Officer for Air Traffic Management (ATM) at ICAO Asia and. Pacific (APAC) Office, to the Armenian people.

In the letter Mr. Wicks notes that the problems at the Armenian Civil Aviation Committee are due to long-term systemic issues going back many years. He voices confidence that the leadership of Ms. Tatevik Revazyan, Chair of the Committee, will enable Armenia to make positive changes, which will strengthen and grow the vital Armenian aviation sector.

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