- Which countries are unsafe to fly in?
airlines from 104 countries have permission to land in the United States. In 1992,
the FAA began dispatching inspectors to these countries to determine if their civil
aviation operations are in compliance with the standards set by the International
Civil Aviation Organization, a U.N. agency. Individual airlines are not checked; rather,
each country's ability to provide oversight is assessed. So far, 79 countries have
undergone an inspection, and periodic re-inspections are planned.
A total of 53 countries comply with international standards
(called Category I), the FAA has concluded. Twelve in Category II do not fully comply,
but the FAA is working with them to correct deficiencies. Another 14 countries in
Category III are deemed to lack the appropriate civil aviation infrastructure, and
their airlines are prohibited from landing in the United States unless the flights
are conducted under the supervision of an airline from a Category I country.
The ratings for the 79 inspected countries can be found
in a chart on the FAA's World Wide Web site at www.faa.gov.
Click first on "Aviation Safety Information" and then on "International Aviation Safety
Assessment." The 14 countries that the FAA says currently do not meet international
air safety standards are Belize, Dominican Republic, Gambia, Haiti, Honduras, Kiribati,
Malta, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Suriname, Swaziland, Uruguay, Zaire and Zimbabwe.
Reports on the remaining 25 countries were issued in
1998. Russia and China are special cases because of their size, and reports on them
also are still pending. Meanwhile, the FAA has just launched a new effort through
the International Civil Aviation Organization to provide safety assistance to the
rest of the U.N. agency's 185 members that do not fly to the United States.
Site last updated December, 2004
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