The traveling public expects aviation to be the safest mode of transportation around the world, and the FAA's International Aviation Safety Assessment program – called IASA – is one of its proven, longstanding instruments to make sure those expectations are met.
Through this shared commitment among the FAA and civil aviation authorities around the world, the IASA program helps identify areas to strengthen aviation safety oversight and meet the United Nation's International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.
When another country's air carrier flies into the U.S., or codeshares with with a U.S. air carrier, they must meet safety safety standards set by the ICAO. Through the IASA program, the FAA focuses on a country's ability, not the ability of individual air carriers, to adhere to those international safety standards and recommended practices.
You can find more details about these standards and practices such as personnel licensing; operation of aircraft; and, airworthiness of aircraft, within the ICAO "Chicago Convention".
Specifically, the IASA program assesses and determines a country's compliance with these international standards on the ICAO's eight critical elements of effective aviation safety oversight in the ICAO Document 9734, Safety Oversight Manual. Those eight critical elements include:
- 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
- Resolution of safety concerns
The IASA program is administered by the FAA Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety (AVS), Flight Standards Service (AFS), International Programs and Policy Division (AFS-50). Supported by the FAA's Office of International Aviation (API), these divisions further work with countries who request additional assistance based on the IASA program's findings.