[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 46 (Friday, March 8, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 14912-14913]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-05452]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 129


International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) Program Change

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Policy statement.

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SUMMARY: This statement describes a policy change to the FAA's 
International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program. The FAA wants 
to ensure that countries do not remain on this listing when the results 
of the FAA's IASA determinations as to those countries might no longer 
be accurate or reasonably current. The FAA is accordingly adopting a 
procedure to remove a country from the IASA program summary listing 
when that country's air carriers no longer provide air service to the 
United States, none of the country's air carriers participates in code-
share arrangements with U.S. air carriers, and the country's civil 
aviation authority (CAA) has ceased interacting with the FAA for an 
extended period of time. The FAA is making this change to improve the 
quality of the IASA summary listing. This statement also explains IASA 
Categories 1 and 2 in terms of what the flying public may reasonably 
take them to mean. This document modifies the IASA policies previously 
announced by the FAA.

DATES: Effective date: April 8, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Manager of the International Programs 
and Policy Division (AFS-50), Flight Standards Service, Federal 
Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 
20591, (202) 385-8070.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

The Removal of Inactive Countries; and Public Expectations of IASA 
Categories

Removal of Inactive Countries
    Under the IASA program, the FAA assesses whether another country's 
oversight of its air carriers that operate, or seek to operate, into 
the U.S., or codeshare with a U.S. air carrier, complies with 
international aviation safety standards established by the 
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The FAA maintains and 
publishes a country-by-country summary listing of the results of its 
IASA determinations. Some countries continue to be listed on the IASA 
summary, whether in Category 1 or 2, even though the countries have no 
air carriers that are serving the United States or code sharing with 
one or more U.S. partner airlines. Because of the lack of air service 
to the United States, there is minimal, if any, interaction between the 
FAA and the subject CAAs. To date, countries have not been removed from 
the category listing for inactivity, even though the safety oversight 
information previously collected may become stale and unreliable. To 
improve the quality of information on the IASA program summary category 
listing, the FAA is initiating a process to remove inactive countries 
from the listing.
    Information generated by the IASA program is used by the U.S. and 
foreign governments, the aviation industry, and the traveling public. 
IASA information disseminated should be accurate and reasonably 
current. To this end, countries whose IASA information can no longer be 
considered accurate and reasonably current will be removed from the 
published IASA summary listing.
    In determining whether a country's IASA information is no longer 
accurate and reasonably current, we will proceed on the basis that if, 
after a four year period, a country has no air carrier providing air 
transport service to the United States, none of the country's air 
carriers participates in code-share arrangements with U.S. air 
carriers, and the CAA does not interact significantly with the FAA, the 
FAA will remove that country from the IASA summary category listing. 
These criteria will be applied immediately in a review of countries 
currently on the list and on a continual basis going forward.
    Before the FAA removes a country from the IASA program listing, the 
country's CAA will receive formal notification prior to the removal. 
Just as it does when a country is added to the list or a country's IASA 
category is changed, the FAA will notify the public regarding the 
removal of a country from the IASA summary listing.
    Once a country is removed from the IASA summary listing, a full 
reassessment of the CAA must be conducted before the country can be 
rated in the IASA program and before a carrier subject to that 
country's aviation safety oversight can serve the United States using 
its own aircraft or can put a U.S. carrier code on its flights.

Public Expectations of IASA Category Ratings

    Members of the public have asked what the IASA category rating for 
a country means when they are making transportation choices. Category 1 
means that the FAA has found that the country meets ICAO Standards for 
safety oversight of civil aviation. Category 2 means that the FAA has 
found that the country does not meet those Standards. The ICAO 
Standards are presumptively binding on ICAO Member States as 
signatories to the Chicago Convention. The Standards are promulgated 
from time to time by ICAO and grouped by subject matter (for example, 
airline personnel licensing or operation of aircraft) in Annexes to the 
Chicago Convention.
    The FAA normally determines the appropriate IASA category rating 
for a country using information collected during an in-country 
assessment of that country's CAA. The FAA also may consider other 
reliable sources of information on a CAA's compliance with 
international standards when making a determination of safety oversight 
under the IASA program. The FAA may use the information developed by 
these other sources to supplement the information developed during an 
FAA assessment of the CAA, or to entirely replace the assessment 
altogether, when making an IASA category determination.
    In conducting its IASA assessments, the FAA uses a standardized 
checklist that groups the ICAO Standards on safety oversight into eight 
critical elements: (1) Primary aviation legislation, (2) specific 
operating regulations, (3) organization structure

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and safety oversight functions, (4) technical personnel qualification 
and training, (5) technical guidance, (6) certification personnel and 
procedures, (7) surveillance obligations, and (8) resolution of safety 
issues. To achieve Category 1, the country must demonstrate that it 
meets the ICAO Standards for each of the eight elements. Category 2 
means that the CAA was noncompliant in at least one critical element. 
The IASA assessment typically is conducted over the course of one week 
by a team consisting of a team leader and at least one expert in 
operations, maintenance, and aviation law. Each FAA expert works 
through the checklist with host country officials for each of the 
critical elements. The team looks at a representative sampling of 
records and processes, and it follows up with host country aviation 
officials if deficiencies appear.
    The FAA assessment focuses on the ability of the host country's 
aeronautical authorities to oversee the operational safety of its 
airlines. It does not assess the safety compliance of any particular 
air carrier (nor does it address aviation security, airports, or air 
traffic management). Although the FAA assessment team typically visits 
one or more air carriers during its mission, it does so only to verify 
the relationship between the carrier and the country's aviation safety 
officials, not to assess the carrier itself.
    Finally, the IASA category rating applies only to services to and 
from the United States and to codeshare operations when the code of a 
U.S. air carrier is placed on a foreign carrier flight. The category 
ratings do not apply to a foreign carrier's domestic flights or to 
flights by that carrier between its homeland and a third country. The 
assessment team looks at those flights only to the extent that they 
reflect on the country's oversight of operations to and from the United 
States and to codeshare operations where a U.S. air carrier code is 
placed on a flight conducted by a foreign operator.
    In short, a category 1 rating means that, as to the operations by a 
category 1 country's carriers between that country and the United 
States, and when the code of a U.S. air carrier is placed on a foreign 
carrier flight, the FAA has found that the country's civil aviation 
authorities exercise safety oversight over those carriers consistent 
with international safety standards. A Category 2 rating, on the other 
hand, means the FAA has found that, in at least one critical area, the 
safety measures applied by the country's civil aviation authorities do 
not meet international standards.
    Current IASA category determinations for countries included in the 
IASA categorization system are available on the FAA Web site at: http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/iasa.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on February 25, 2013.
Margaret Gilligan,
Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety.
[FR Doc. 2013-05452 Filed 3-7-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P