The FAA announced on Thursday that it has downgraded the air safety rating for Russia from a Category 1 to a Category 2 rating. The change restricts Russian air carriers to current levels of existing service to the U.S. and bans them from carrying the code of U.S. carriers on any flights. The FAA noted that there are currently no airlines operating regularly scheduled flights between Russia and the U.S.
“The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has downgraded the air safety rating for Russia, restricting any expansion of service or partnerships since Russia’s Federal Agency for Air Transport does not comply with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety standards,” the agency said in a statement. The FAA did not list specific reasons for the downgrade beyond failure to comply with ICAO standards.
Air safety rating assessments are conducted under the FAA’s International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program, which reviews 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.” Assessment results fall into two categories, with Category 1 connoting countries found to comply with ICAO safety standards and Category 2 indicating that IASA found the country does not comply with ICAO standards. Elements reviewed include a country’s primary aviation legislation; specific operating regulations; state civil aviation system and safety oversight functions; technical personnel qualification and training; technical guidance, tools and the provision of safety critical information; licensing, certification, authorization, and approval obligations; surveillance obligations; and resolution of safety concerns.