The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced on July 15 that Pakistan has been assigned a Category 2 rating because it does not comply with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety standards under the FAA’s International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program.
Under IASA, the FAA 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 U.S. partner airlines. The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority provides aviation safety oversight for Pakistan.
IASA assessments determine whether foreign civil aviation authorities comply with ICAO safety standards. ICAO is the technical agency for aviation under the United Nations. The organization establishes international standards and recommended safety practices for aircraft operations and maintenance.
A Category 1 rating means the country’s civil aviation authority complies with ICAO standards. This rating allows air carriers from that country to establish service to the United States and to carry the code of U.S. carriers through codesharing arrangements.
Air carriers from countries with Category 2 ratings are not allowed to initiate new service to the United States, are restricted to current levels of existing service to the United States, and are not permitted to carry the code of U.S. carriers on any flights. Currently, no airlines operate regularly scheduled flights between Pakistan and the United States.
The European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) recently suspended Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) authorisation to fly to the bloc for six months.
Following the investigations into the crash of PK8303, an Airbus 320, in Pakistan, it was revealed that almost a third of all pilots in the country had licences the aviation minister termed “dubious”.