Air Astana fight with Mongolian Civil Aviation Authority continues


n January 2016, Air Astana, the flag carrier of Kazakhstan, initiated internationally recognised processes relating to the intended launch of air services between Astana and Ulaanbaatar, the respective capitals of Kazakhstan and Mongolia in June 2016.

Air Astana successfully completed the requisite operational safety audit by the Mongolian civil aviation authority (CAAM) and was informed that there were “zero findings”, with approval for the issue of an operating permit being granted in March 2016. In April 2016, CAAM reversed its position by withdrawing permission and failed to issue the Air Operator Certificate required by foreign carriers flying to Mongolia.

The grounds claimed by CAAM for doing so are totally invalid. Firstly, Air Astana is not banned from operating to any country and has never been so during its successful 14 year history. Secondly, Air Astana did successfully complete the operational safety audit, which it passed with “zero findings.” And finally, the requisite legally binding intergovernmental agreement is in place for services to commence between Kazakhstan and Mongolia.

Air Astana calls upon to CAAM to review the decision to the revoke the flight permit and recognise that its grounds for doing so are not only invalid, but are in violation of long established international civil aviation standard practices. Air Astana exercises 20 of the 45 approvals it enjoys from Regulatory authorities, with many of these authorities considered to be leaders in Safety Oversight. The airline is therefore curious to understand any concern that could improve operations safety.