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04 October 2006
On June 22 2006 Eurocontrol, the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation, and ENAC, the Italian Civil Aviation Authority, entered into an agreement whereby ENAC, at Eurocontrol's request, is empowered to ground aircraft operated by airlines which have failed to pay route charges to Eurocontrol.
The agreement was completed in accordance with the provisions of the new Article 802 of the Navigation Code. Previously, ENAC was empowered to ground aircraft for safety reasons only; its new authority to prevent departure for economic reasons will primarily benefit the Società Italiana per l'Assistenza alla Navigazione Aerea, which controls air traffic operations in Italian airspace and is entitled to overflight charges.
Pursuant to a request from Eurocontrol - and except in cases of wilful default or gross negligence - the agreement indemnifies ENAC and its staff from: (i) legal liability arising from loss or damage to aircraft (including the loss of use thereof) or loss, damage or injury suffered by individuals (including fatal injury) as a result of prohibiting the departure of an aircraft operated by a company in default of payment of Eurocontrol route charges; and (ii) the costs arising from such an action up to an amount agreed beforehand in writing by Eurocontrol and ENAC.
The agreement also provides that Eurocontrol will give ENAC early warnings on the financial status of airlines with cash-flow problems, so that ENAC will be better able to prevent the operational problems resulting from airlines going bankrupt, such as the inconvenience to stranded passengers when flights are cancelled at short notice.
For further information on this topic please contact Laura Pierallini or Gianluigi Ascenzi at Studio Legale Cannata Pierallini by telephone (+39 06 88 41 713) or by fax (+39 06 88 40 249) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com).
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