[Federal Register Volume 65, Number 102 (Thursday, May 25, 2000)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 33751-33753]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 00-13179]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 129


Changes to the International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) 
Program

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Policy statement.

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SUMMARY: This notice describes recent policy changes to the FAA's

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International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program, which involves 
assessing whether another country's oversight of its air carriers that 
operate, or seek to operate, into the United States complies with 
minimum international standards for aviation safety. The FAA is making 
these changes as it commences a new phase of the IASA program following 
the completion of initial determinations on the safety oversight 
exercised by virtually all countries whose air carriers operate, or 
have applied to operate, to the United States. This notice modifies the 
IASA policies previously announced by the FAA.

DATES: This policy modification is effective May 25, 2000. Comments on 
this policy may be directed to the address below.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to Federal Aviation Administration, Office of 
Public Affairs, 800 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20591.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Lynn Jensen, International Liaison 
Staff, AFS-50, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation 
Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20591; 
(202) 267-3719.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The policy announced at 57 FR 38342, August 24, 1992, described how 
the FAA would assess whether a foreign civil aviation authority (CAA) 
complied with the minimum international standards for aviation safety 
oversight established by the International Civil Aviation Organization 
(ICAO). In obtaining information relevant to its assessment, the FAA 
meets with the foreign CAA responsible for providing the safety 
oversight to its carriers, reviews pertinent records and meets with 
officials of the subject foreign air carriers. The FAA then analyzes 
the collected information to determine whether the CAA complies with 
ICAO standards regarding the oversight provided to the air carriers 
under its authority. This determination is part of the basis for FAA 
recommended courses of action to the Department of Transportation on 
the initiation, continuation, or expansion of air service to the United 
States by the carriers overseen by that CAA. The IASA program applies 
to all foreign countries with air carriers proposing or have existing 
air service to the United States under an economic authority issued by 
the Department
    The policy announced at 59 FR 46332, September 8, 1994, concerned 
the FAA's decision to publicly disclose the results of FAA assessments. 
In connection with the public disclosure policy, the FAA established 
three categories of ratings for countries to signify the status of a 
CAA's compliance with minimum international safety standards: Category 
I (Acceptable), Category II (Conditional), and Category III 
(Unacceptable). Category II or III apply to countries whose CAAs are 
found not to be providing safety oversight in compliance with the 
minimum international standards established by ICAO. The FAA normally 
places a country in Category II if one of its carriers provided air 
service to the United States at the time of the FAA assessment. The FAA 
places a country in Category III if none of its carriers provided air 
service to the United States at the time of the FAA assessment. 
Carriers from Category II countries are permitted to maintain, but not 
expand, current levels of service under heightened FAA surveillance. 
Carriers from Category III countries are not permitted to commence 
service to the United States.

Program and Public Disclosure Changes

Sources of Information on Safety Oversight

    The FAA has a continuing obligation to ensure that CAAs comply with 
minimum international standards for safety oversight. In collecting 
information to support its assessment findings, the FAA will continue 
to rely, when necessary, on meetings with CAA and airline officials and 
reviewing pertinent documents. The FAA also will make use of other 
sources of information on CAA compliance with minimum international 
standards for safety oversight. These sources may include other 
qualified entities (e.g., the European Joint Aviation Authorities or 
ICAO) considered reliable by the FAA.

Categorization of Results of FAA Assessments

    As in the past, assessment determinations will continue to be 
publicly disclosed. However, FAA will only use two categories in the 
future, i.e., Category 1 (in compliance with minimum international 
standards for aviation safety) and Category 2 (not in compliance with 
minimum international standards for aviation safety). This change is 
being made to eliminate any confusion that has resulted from having two 
different categories regarding non-compliance with ICAO standards. We 
believe that there has been a misimpression created that being in 
Category II reflects a higher degree of compliance with ICAO standards 
than being in Category III. To correct this misimpression and make 
clear that no inferences should be drawn about relative degrees of ICAO 
compliance, we are deleting Category III and redefining Category II as 
follows:
    Category 2. The Federal Aviation Administration assessed this 
country's civil aviation authority 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.
    One group are 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 are 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 commerce 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.

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    No other difference is made between these two groups of countries 
while in a category 2 status.

Transition to New IASA Categorization System

    Countries in the former Category I will initially be placed in the 
new Category 1 (in compliance with ICAO Standards). Countries in the 
former Categories II and III will initially be placed in the new 
Category 2 (not in compliance with ICAO standards). For those countries 
not serving the U.S. at the time of the assessment, an asterisk ``*'' 
will be added to their Category 2 determination.
    The FAA will review the category determinations of all countries 
included in the IASA categorization scheme at least once every two 
years, or when new information becomes available which calls into 
question the country's ability to continue complying with minimum 
standards for aviation safety. The purpose of such reviews is to 
determine if a country's CAA continues to comply with minimum 
international standard for aviation safety (Category I) or is making 
sustainable progress toward compliance (Category 2). After each such 
review, the FAA will update the appropriate public disclosure.
    The FAA will continue to work with countries to improve safety 
oversight capabilities in cases where the assessment process has 
revealed deficiencies. When FAA determines that sustainable progress is 
not being made, or is not possible under the prevailing circumstances 
in the country, it may advise the Office of the Secretary that the 
subject country has not made significant progress in correcting its 
safety oversight deficiencies and recommend a course of action to 
review the status of all authorities issued to carriers of that 
country.
    Current IASA category determinations for countries included in the 
IASA categorization system are available on the FAA web-site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/isa.htm

    Issued in Washington, DC on May 15, 2000.
Thomas E. McSweeny,
Associate Administrator for Regulation and Certification.
[FR Doc. 00-13179 Filed 5-24-00; 8:45 am]
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