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Mon, Mar 30, 2009

Israel Continues Efforts To Restore FAA Safety Ranking

FAA International Aviation Safety Assessment Revealed Safety Issues

Earlier this month, the Federal Aviation Administration downgraded Israel's aviation safety standard rating from Category One to Category Two, putting it on the same level as Third World countries.

The FAA assessment isn't a measure of airline safety - but is a determination of whether civil aviation authorities meet international safety standards. The move has significant consequences for Israel's air carriers, tourism and economy, and has spurred government officials to the matter in hand.

Last week, a report presented by a panel of experts to Israel's Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the country's aviation safety rating, and provided recommendations to fix problems that caused the downgrade, Haaretz reported.

"The panel understood that according to the director of the Civil Aviation Authority Major General Giora Rom, allocating the necessary resources will make it possible for Israel to restore its rank to '1' in the U.S. [in terms of flight safety]," the report said.

The panel pointed out that "the steps that need to be undertaken could have been concluded two to three years ago," and outlined three major areas for improvement: quick legislation with high priority for Law on Flight; additional budget allocations for the Civil Aviation Authority; and approval for 10-15 more positions for supervisors at the CAA.

"The lowering of the air-safety ranking makes it difficult for Israeli airlines, which are prevented from adding more routes and undermines their ability to establish joint ventures with foreign airlines," the panel said.



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