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Vietnam receives top aviation safety rating from FAA

Released at: 15:09, 16/02/2019

Vietnam receives top aviation safety rating from FAA

Director General of Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam Dinh Viet Thang (C) receives FAA's letter from US Ambassador H.E. Daniel J Kritenbrink (L) - Photo: US Embassy

US's Federal Aviation Administration grants Vietnam Category 1 (CAT 1) rating on February 15.

by Linh Van

The US Embassy in Vietnam on February 15 officially granted its host country the Category 1 (CAT 1) aviation safety rating from the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which allows Vietnamese airlines to fly to the US and codeshare with US carriers, according to a report from the Vietnam News Agency.

Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) Dinh Viet Thang, who received FAA’s letter from US Ambassador H.E. Daniel J Kritenbrink, said acquiring CAT 1 will help elevate Vietnamese airlines’ profile and prestige to a new high.

There are currently no direct flights between Vietnam and the US, with passengers having to transit in countries and territories like China, Hong Kong, and Japan.

The Vietnamese Government approved plans early last year to expand the network of national carriers to major markets including Australia, China, Europe, and the US.

Vietnam and the US signed an air transport agreement in 2003 to allow carriers from each country to operate unlimited direct air services in both directions.

In 2004, Vietnam Airlines sought permission from the US to provide direct services. However, the request was denied because the CAAV did not meet the safety supervision requirements set by the FAA.

After that, the CAAV made concerted efforts to advance progress in safety and air navigation with strong support from Boeing, and the work has now finally paid off.

Mr. Thang was quoted by the news agency as saying that while attaining the CAT 1 rating has been a hard job, maintaining it is much more difficult, especially as the aviation sector is experiencing strong growth, with dramatic increases in the number of airplanes and airports as well as heavy air traffic.

The FAA requires competent authorities unceasingly improve their management capacity, of which human resources training must be at the center of attention.

Regarding plans to open direct flights to the US, Mr. Thang said Vietnam Airlines, low-cost carrier Vietjet Air, and newcomer Bamboo Airways all desire to fly to the country.

While exploring the potential of the US route, Vietnamese airlines should also be well-prepared before entering the fastidious market, he said.

Several challenges still lay ahead, including investment in a long-haul fleet, which will be quite costly, fierce competition with foreign airlines, and a complicated justice system to work with, he stressed.

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