[Federal Register Volume 60, Number 210 (Tuesday, October 31, 1995)]
[Page 55408]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 95-26920]



Clarification Concerning Examination of Foreign Air Carriers' 
Request for Expanded Economic Authority

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, Department of Transportation.

SUMMARY: This notice clarifies the Department's licensing policy 
regarding requests for expanded economic authority from foreign air 
carriers whose government Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) safety 
oversight capability has been assessed by the Federal Aviation 
Administration as conditional (Category II) or unacceptable (Category 
III). This notice supplements information previously published by the 
FAA concerning FAA procedures for examining and monitoring foreign air 
carriers (57 Fed. Reg. 38342-43, August 24, 1992).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Donald H. Horn, Assistant General 
Counsel for International Law, Office of International Law, Office of 
the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 7th Street 
S.W., Room 10105, Washington, DC 20591, (202) 366-2972.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In order to operate to the United States, 
foreign air carriers must receive authority from the Office of the 
Secretary (OST) and, if operating their own aircraft, (as opposed to 
wet leasing), operations specifications from the Federal Aviation 
Administration (FAA). Both OST and FAA are components of the Department 
of Transportation. OST looks to the FAA for determinations on matters 
involving aviation safety.
    In order for a foreign air carrier to fly to the United States, its 
home country civil aviation authority must adhere to the aviation 
safety standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization 
(ICAO), the United Nation's technical agency for aviation. ICAO has 
established international standards for operational safety and 
continuing airworthiness. As fully described in an earlier Federal 
Register notice, 57 Fed. Reg. 38342, August 24, 1992, the Federal 
Aviation Administration (FAA) has developed a program for sending 
evaluation teams to the various countries to work cooperatively to 
assess their civil aviation safety oversight capabilities.
    The FAA, with the cooperation of the host government, assesses 
countries whose airlines have operating rights to or from the United 
States, or have requested such rights. The focus of the assessment is 
on a government's compliance with ICAO standards, rather than the 
individual air carriers licensed by that country. Accordingly, the FAA 
assessment does not necessarily reflect individual carriers' compliance 
with all relevant safety requirements. The FAA has assisted countries 
with less than acceptable ratings by providing technical expertise, 
assistance with inspections and training courses. The FAA has 
established three ratings for the status of these governments' civil 
aviation authorities at the time of the assessment: acceptable, 
conditional and unacceptable:
    Category I, acceptable: The FAA's assessment found that the 
country's civil aviation authority licenses and oversees air carriers 
in accordance with ICAO aviation safety standards.
    Category II, conditional: The FAA's assessment found that the 
country's civil aviation authority has areas of noncompliance with ICAO 
aviation safety standards. The FAA is negotiating actively with the 
authority to implement corrective measures. During these negotiations, 
the Department permits flights under existing authority to operate into 
the United States, and the FAA conducts heightened surveillance.
    Category III, unacceptable: The FAA's assessment found that the 
country's civil aviation authority is not in compliance with ICAO 
standards for aviation safety oversight. Unacceptable ratings apply if 
the civil aviation authority has not developed and/or implemented laws 
or regulations in accordance with ICAO standards; if it lacks the 
flight operations capability to certify, oversee and enforce air 
carrier operations requirements; if it lacks the capability to certify, 
oversee and enforce air carrier aircraft maintenance requirements; and/
or if it lacks appropriately trained inspector personnel required by 
ICAO standards. Carriers licensed by this government may not operate 
flights to the United States with their own aircraft. They may arrange 
to continue operating with aircraft wet leased from a duly authorized 
and properly supervised U.S. or foreign air carrier that is authorized 
to serve the United States with its own aircraft.
    See e.g., 59 FR 46332-33, September 8, 1994.
    A number of requests for new or expanded authority have been 
received by OST from foreign air carriers where their home civil 
aviation authority has been classified by FAA as Category II 
(conditional). In order to make clear our licensing policy as concerns 
carriers of Category II countries, we are placing this notice in the 
Federal Register. All foreign air carriers are thus on notice that: 
Foreign air carriers from Category II countries are permitted to 
exercise authority in their OST licenses now being operated, and the 
Category II status will not preclude the renewal of authority to 
conduct existing services. However, no authority to conduct new 
services, or expanded operations, will be issued to such carriers by 
OST (unless operated using aircraft wet-leased from a duly authorized 
and properly supervised U.S. or foreign air carrier), until the home 
country's civil aviation authority has been reclassified by the FAA as 
Category I (acceptable).

    Issued in Washington, D.C. on October 23, 1995.
Mark L. Gerchick,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs, 
Department of Transportation.

[FR Doc. 95-26920 Filed 10-30-95; 8:45 am]