FAA Announces Barbados Does Not Comply With ICAO Safety Standards


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FAA Announces Barbados Does Not Comply With ICAO Safety Standards

By Mike Mitchell

April 13, 2011 - The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Tuesday announced that Barbados does not comply with international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), based on an assessment of Barbados’ civil aviation authority.  

Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is 21 miles in length and as much as 14 miles in width, amounting to 166 square miles. It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 62 miles east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea.  

The island's lone airport is the Grantley Adams International Airport. It receives daily flights by several major airlines from points around the globe, as well as several smaller regional commercial airlines and charters. The airport serves as the main air-transportation hub for the eastern Caribbean. It is undergoing a US$100 million upgrade and expansion.

There is also a helicopter shuttle service, which offers air taxi services to a number of sites around the island, mainly on the West Coast tourist belt. Air and maritime traffic is regulated by the Barbados Port Authority. As a result, the FAA has assigned Barbados an International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) Category 2 rating. With a Category 2 rating, Barbados’ air carriers, which do not currently serve the United States, cannot establish U.S. service.   

A Category 2 rating means a country either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, or that its civil aviation authority equivalent to the FAA for aviation safety matters is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record keeping or inspection procedures.  

As part of the FAA’s IASA program, the agency assesses the civil aviation authorities of all countries with air carriers that operate or have applied to fly to the United States and makes that information available to the public. The assessments determine whether or not foreign civil aviation authorities are meeting ICAO safety standards, not FAA regulations. The civil aviation authority of Barbados is currently conducting certification on an air carrier with the goal of serving the United States.


Countries with air carriers that fly to the United States must adhere to the safety standards of ICAO, the United Nations’ technical agency for aviation that establishes international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance.


A checklist is used by the FAA teams during the performance of the in country portion of an IASA assessment and are broken down into sections which can be assigned to different individuals during the assessment activity.

The assessments include primary aviation legislation, specific operating regulation, civil aviation authority (CAA) organizational structure and safety oversight. In addition it reviews technical personnel qualification and training, technical guidance, certification obligations, surveillance obligations and resolution of safety issues.

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