FAA Gives Bahamas IASA Rating of Category 2


FAA Gives Bahamas IASA Rating of Category 2


January 12, 2001, WASHINGTON- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today  announced that the Bahamas does not comply with international  safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation  Organization (ICAO), giving the country a Category 2 rating  following an assessment of the country's civil aviation authority.  The Bahamas was previously rated Category 1. The government of the Bahamas has indicated its desire to  correct the issues identified as a result of the FAA assessment.  Some progress has been made, and they are taking important  steps toward correcting those issues. 

The FAA will remain engaged  with the civil aviation authority of the Bahamas and will schedule a  reassessment when it receives information that all issues have  been corrected. This announcement is part of the FAA's International Aviation  Safety Assessment (IASA) program, under which the agency  assesses the civil aviation authorities of all countries with air  carriers that operate to the U.S., and makes that information  available to the public. The assessments are not an indication of whether individual  foreign carriers are safe or unsafe; rather, they determine whether  or not foreign civil aviation authorities are meeting ICAO safety  standards, not FAA regulations.

Countries with air carriers that fly to the U.S. must adhere to the  safety standards of ICAO, the United Nations' technical agency  for aviation that establishes international standards and  recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance. The FAA, with the cooperation of the host civil aviation authority,  assesses countries with airlines that have operating rights to or  from the United States, or have requested such rights. Specifically, the FAA determines whether a foreign civil aviation  authority has an adequate infrastructure for international aviation  safety oversight as defined by ICAO standards. The basic  elements that the FAA considers necessary include: 1) laws  enabling the appropriate government office to adopt regulations  necessary to meet the minimum requirements of ICAO; 2) current  regulations that meet those requirements; 3) procedures to carry  out the regulatory requirements; 4) air carrier certification, routine  inspection, and surveillance programs; and 5) organizational and  personnel resources to implement and enforce the above.

The FAA has established two ratings for the status of these civil  aviation authorities at the time of the assessment: (1) does  comply with ICAO standards, (2) does not comply with ICAO  standards. · Category 1, Does Comply with ICAO Standards:  A civil aviation  authority has been assessed by FAA inspectors and has been  found to license and oversee air carriers in accordance with ICAO  aviation safety standards. · Category 2. Does Not Comply with ICAO Standards:  The  Federal Aviation Administration assessed this country's civil  aviation authority (CAA) and determined that it does not provide  safety oversight of its air carrier operators in accordance with the  minimum safety oversight standards established by the  International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). This rating is  applied if one or more of the following deficiencies are identified:  (1) the country lacks laws or regulations necessary to support the  certification and oversight of air carriers in accordance with  minimum international standards; (2) the CAA lacks the technical  expertise, resources, and organization to license or oversee air  carrier operations; (3) the CAA does not have adequately trained  and qualified technical personnel; (4) the CAA does not provide  adequate inspector guidance to ensure enforcement of, and  compliance with, minimum international standards; and (5) the  CAA has insufficient documentation and records of certification  and inadequate continuing oversight and surveillance of air carrier  operations.

This category consists of two groups of countries. ˇ One group is countries that have air carriers with existing  operations to the United States at the time of the assessment.   While in Category 2 status, carriers from these countries will be  permitted to continue operations at current levels under heightened  FAA surveillance.  Expansion or changes in services to the United  States by such carriers are not permitted while in category 2,  although new services will be permitted if operated using aircraft  wet-leased from a duly authorized and properly supervised U.S.  carrier or a foreign air carrier from a category 1 country that is  authorized to serve the United States using its own aircraft. The second group is countries that do not have air carriers with  existing operations to the United States at the time of the  assessment.  Carriers from these countries will not be permitted  to commence service to the United States while in Category 2  status, although they may conduct services if operated using  aircraft wet-leased from a duly authorized and properly supervised  U.S. carrier or a foreign air carrier from a Category 1 country that  is authorized to serve the United States with its own aircraft. No other difference is made between these two groups of  countries while in a category 2 status.

The FAA has assisted civil aviation authorities with less than  acceptable ratings by providing technical expertise, assistance  with inspections, and training courses. The FAA hopes to work with  other countries through ICAO to address non-compliance with  international aviation safety oversight standards. The FAA will continue to release the results of safety  assessments to the public as they are completed. First  announced in September 1994, the ratings are part of an ongoing  FAA program to assess all countries with air carriers that operate  to the United States.

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