WASHINGTON, D.C., 3 Nov. 2012. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has upgraded Israel's safety rating from Category 2 to Category 1. This means that Israel complies with international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), based on the results of an October FAA review of Israel’s civil aviation authority.
With the International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) Category 1 rating, Israeli air carriers can add flights and service to the United States and carry the code of U.S. carriers. With the Category 2 rating, Israeli air carriers were allowed to maintain existing service to the United States, but could not establish new services.
Israel’s civil aviation authority worked with the FAA on an action plan so that its safety oversight system fully complies with ICAO’s standards and practices.
In order to maintain a Category 1 rating, countries with air carriers that fly to the United States 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. More information about the IASA can be found here.
A Category 1 rating means the country’s civil aviation authority complies with ICAO standards. A Category 2 rating means a country lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, or that its civil aviation authority, the equivalent to the FAA for aviation safety matters, is deficient in one or more areas.
As part of the FAA’s IASA program, the agency assesses the civil aviation authorities of all countries with air carriers that operate or have applied to fly to the United States and makes that information available to the public. The assessments determine whether or not foreign civil aviation authorities are meeting ICAO safety standards.