Giovanni Bisignani called on Israel to speed up its exit from Category 2 of the US Federal Aviation Administration's International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA)
THE International Air Transport Association (IATA) director general and CEO, Giovanni Bisignani, who visited Israel for the first time last week, urged the Israeli Transport Minister, Israel Katz, to utilise global standards to strengthen Israel's air freight sector.
Bisignani called on Israel to speed up its exit from Category 2 of the US Federal Aviation Administration's International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA). He was cited as saying that remaining an IASA category 2 nation was a "national embarrassment" and costly for the financial health of Israeli carriers.
In December 2008, the FAA changed Israel’s aviation safety standard rating to Category 2 following an assessment of the country’s Civil Aviation Authority and in particular for its regulation of light, private and sports aviation. With a Category 2 rating, Israeli air carriers are not allowed to establish new service to the United States.
"Let's be clear, global standards are not out of reach. Israel's four IATA member airlines (Arkia Israel Airlines, CAL Cargo Airlines, El Al and Israir Airlines) are on the registry of the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) for achieving the highest standards in operational safety management. The regulator must also uphold global standards decided through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)."
In a meeting with Transportation Minister Katz and director general of the Civil Aviation Authority, Giora Rom, Bisignani offered Israel to use IATA’s expertise to speed the process and encouraged Israel to join the growing list of countries that have made IOSA a national requirement.
Bisignani also highlighted the urgent need for Israel to designate an alternate airport to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport to handle operational irregularities. Ovda Airport, the previous alternate airport for commercial flights, was closed to scheduled traffic earlier this year.