According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), a team comprising FAA and Boeing representatives on August 13 will assess Vietnam’s aviation safety management system.

In the 2013 technical evaluation, the FAA presented 47 recommendations to Vietnam. There were only 16 recommendations in two most recent evaluations. The CAAV noted that Vietnam has overcome the problems highlighted by the FAA.

In the past two technical evaluations, in preparation for the official review, the FAA praised Vietnam’s introduction of legal documents and guidance as well as improvements to aviation safety management facilities and equipment. Safety supervision activities have been standardized to meet the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization and other international standards. Moreover, the problem of pilot shortages in 2013 has been resolved.

Under U.S. regulations, for a foreign airline to fly to the United States, the aviation authority of that country must satisfy the supervision requirements of the ICAO and the safety rules of the FAA.

As such, Vietnam needs to get approval for its aviation safety management in Category 1 (CAT 1). Following this, the CAAV will be allowed to oversee airlines based in Vietnam to ensure their compliance with international regulations and standards, managing their eligibility for operating flights to the United States.

With the resolution of the indicated shortcomings, the CAAV believes Vietnam will pass the coming official technical review of the FAA, allowing Vietnamese airlines to launch direct air services to the United States by late next year at the latest.

The national flag carrier planned a direct air route to the United States in July 2008, but the plan was scrapped as the necessary conditions were not in place. Vietnam Airlines was still unable to fly to the United States in 2011 as it needed to wait for the U.S. aviation authority to evaluate the aviation safety management capabilities of Vietnam.

The air transport agreement between Vietnam and the United States was amended in late 2012 to enhance cooperation in civil aviation between the two countries, including Vietnam Airlines’ consideration of a direct air route to the United States.

Saigon Times - August 21, 2018