US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink on February 15 met with Nguyen Van The, Minister of Transport, and Dinh Viet Thang, Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, to congratulate Vietnam on achieving a Category 1 aviation safety rating.
The Category 1 status is based on an August 2018 FAA assessment of the safety oversight provided by Vietnam’s Civil Aviation Authority, the US Embassy in Vietnam said in a press release on February 15.
The Category 1 determination is a substantial achievement. It is the result of years of diligent work by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam and the Ministry of Transportation.
With Category 1 status, Vietnamese air carriers will be able to establish direct services to the US and carry the code of US carriers upon completion of the necessary remaining steps, including Vietnamese airports earning approvals to comply with ICAO security standards and recommended practices from the US Transportation Security Administration, and Vietnamese airlines earning economic authority from the US Department of Transportation.
As part of the FAA’s International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program, the agency assesses the civil aviation authorities of all countries with air carriers that have applied to fly to the US, currently conduct operations to the US, or participate in code sharing arrangements with US partner airlines, and makes that information available to the public.
The assessments determine whether foreign civil aviation authorities are meeting ICAO safety standards, not FAA regulations.
In order to maintain a Category 1 rating, a country 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.