The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced that the Republic of Azerbaijan complies with international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and has been granted a Category 1 rating.
The Category 1 rating is based on an October 2013 FAA review of State Civil Aviation Authority of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SCAA), subsequent meetings, and an FAA visit to the Republic of Azerbaijan last month. The country previously did not hold an IASA rating and no carrier of Azerbaijan currently provides service to the United States.
A Category 1 rating means the country’s civil aviation authority complies with ICAO standards. With the International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) Category 1 rating, the Republic of Azerbaijan’s air carriers can add flights and service to the United States and carry the code of US carriers.
As part of the FAA’s IASA program, the agency assesses the civil aviation authorities of all countries with air carriers that have applied to fly to the United States, currently conduct operations to the United States or participate in code sharing arrangements with US partner airlines and makes that information available to the public. The assessments determine whether or not 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. If it had failed to make the grade it would have been classed with a Category 2 rating meaning a country either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, or that its civil aviation authority is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record keeping or inspection procedures.