FAA Upgrades Israel's Aviation Safety Rating to Category 1

FAA Upgrades Israel's Aviation Safety Rating to Category 1
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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced that Israel now 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.

ICAO is the United Nations' technical agency for aviation that establishes international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance. 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.

Israel is now upgraded to Category 1 from the Category 2 safety rating the country received from the FAA in December 2008. 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.

A Category 1 rating means the country's civil aviation authority complies with ICAO standards. A Category 2 rating means a country either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, or that its civil aviation is deficient in one or more areas.

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.

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. The assessments determine whether or not foreign civil aviation authorities are meeting international safety standards.