|Serbia still waiting for FAA CAT 1 status|
Following the United States Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) latest assessment of Serbia’s aviation authorities late last month, the agency has found it will have to undertake an additional check before upgrading the country from its current category two status to category one. The upgrade will pave way for scheduled flights between the two countries, impossible under the present rating. FAA inspectors found that Serbia has largely met US and international safety standards and has adequate infrastructure for international aviation safety oversight as defined by international standards. However, the aviation authority has outlined several additional areas that need to be improved before it can finally award Serbia the category one status it lost in 2004.
The FAA’s findings are a setback for the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate which was hopeful last month’s checks would see the country’s ranking upgraded. The FAA concluded that additional adjustments have to be made to regulations concerning pilot training. As a result, once the Serbian Aviation Directorate makes the necessary alterations, which it is believed to have done so during this month, it must schedule a visit by FAA inspectors. The new evaluation is expected to take place either in late May or June. It takes up to a month for the FAA to formally upgrade a country once it compiles its findings.
|Latest FAA country rating, as of April 9|
The FAA's foreign assessment program focuses on a country's ability, not the individual air carrier, to adhere to international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance established by the United Nation's technical agency for aviation, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Last month, the FAA evaluated Serbia in eight different areas. They included primary aviation legislation, specific operating regulation, state civil aviation system and safety oversight functions, technical personnel qualification and training, technical guidance, certification obligations, surveillance obligations and resolution of safety issues. The last time Serbia was linked to the US was in 2004 when Uzbekistan Airways operated flights from Belgrade to New York.