The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) changed Israel’s aviation safety standard rating from Category 1 to Category 2, following an assessment made last July, the FAA reported in a statement released Friday.
The rating, given by the FAA’s International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program, is not related to security issues, but rather to standard safety items.
The assessments are not an indication of whether individual foreign air carriers are safe or unsafe. Rather, they determine whether or not foreign civil aviation authorities are meeting international safety standards.
A Category 2 rating may involve a country lacking laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with international standards, or that its civil aviation authority does not meet international standards in one or more areas such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record keeping, or inspection procedures, an FAA report said.
According to the FAA statement, Israeli air carriers will not be allowed to establish new service to the United States with a Category 2 rating.
All countries with air carriers that fly to the United States must adhere to the safety standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations agency that establishes international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance.
According to the FAA's report, Israel's civil aviation authority of Israel is attempting to address all areas of concern in aviation safety oversight systems and make sure these systems fully comply with ICAO standards.
Israel maintained a Category 1 rating from November 1995 until now.