On the opening day of the Libya Aviation Forum 2022 (6 to 8 November at Tripoli’s Corinthia hotel), Fathi Mesmari of the state Libyan Airlines Holding Company said Libya’s aviation sector needs a joint strategic reform plan to lift the EU flight ban. The Holding Company owns both the two main state carriers, Libyan Airlines and Afriqiyah Airways.
Mesmari said Libya is committed to all the regulations of ICAO (and its subsidiaries). This means Libyan carriers are subject to inspections abroad. The Libyan Civil Aviation Authority ensures that all ICAO regulations are implemented by local airliners and airports. As Libya is not in isolation and is part of the worldwide ICAO network, it has no choice but to implement the world aviation specifications and standards.
However, research shows that Libya’s aviation sector is below the world average in the implementation of these regulations. To resolve this the Libyan government must become more proactive in raising these standards as the aviation sector in Libya is a sovereign sector.
The EU has banned Libya’s regulators not airliners
Mesmari said there is a misconception that the EU has banned Libya’s airliners, but in fact it has banned its regulators for failing to implement standards.
EU flight ban is costing Libya huge revenues
Displaying various slides and charts, Mesmari explained how the EU flight ban is costing the Libyan state millions in lost revenues in hard currency. Hence lifting the ban may cost some money in the short term through training, certification and through the use of consultancy companies, in the long term its revenue generating.
He agreed that no one Libyan entity can lift the ban on its own and that is why he called for a joint strategic plan by the aviation stakeholders to implement technical and governance reform in the sector.