The FAA has established two ratings for the status of countries at the time of the assessment: does comply with ICAO standards, and does not comply with ICAO standards.
They are defined as follows:
- Category 1, Does Comply with ICAO Standards: A country's civil aviation authority has been assessed by FAA inspectors and has been found to license and oversee air carriers in accordance with ICAO aviation safety standards.
- Category 2, Does Not Comply with ICAO Standards: The Federal Aviation Administration assessed this country's civil aviation authority (CAA) and determined that it does not provide safety oversight of its air carrier operators in accordance with the minimum safety oversight standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
This rating is applied if one or more of the following deficiencies are identified:
- the country lacks laws or regulations necessary to support the certification and oversight of air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards;
- the CAA lacks the technical expertise, resources, and organization to license or oversee air carrier operations;
- the CAA does not have adequately trained and qualified technical personnel;
- the CAA does not provide adequate inspector guidance to ensure enforcement of, and compliance with, minimum international standards;
- the CAA has insufficient documentation and records of certification and inadequate continuing oversight and surveillance of air carrier operations.
This category consists of two groups of countries.
- One group are countries that have air carriers with existing operations to the United States at the time of the assessment. While in Category 2 status, carriers from these countries will be permitted to continue operations at current levels under heightened FAA surveillance. Expansion or changes in services to the United States by such carriers are not permitted while in category 2, although new services will be permitted if operated using aircraft wet-leased from a duly authorized and properly supervised U.S. carrier or a foreign air carrier from a category 1 country that is authorized to serve the United States using its own aircraft.
- The second group are countries that do not have air carriers with existing operations to the United States at the time of the assessment. Carriers from these countries will not be permitted to commence service to the United States while in Category 2 status, although they may conduct services if operated using aircraft wet-leased from a duly authorized and properly supervised U.S. carrier or a foreign air carrier from a Category 1 country that is authorized to serve the United States with its own aircraft.
No other difference is made between these two groups of countries while in a category 2 status.
Note: For those countries not serving the U.S. at the time of the assessment, an asterisk "*" will be added to their Category 2 determination.