On February 15, United States Ambassador to Vietnam, Daniel J. Kritenbrink met with Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The and director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) Dinh Viet Thang to congratulate Vietnam on achieving the Category 1 rating (CAT 1).
“A Category 1 rating means Vietnam’s civil aviation authority meets the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) standards for personnel licensing, operations, and airworthiness,” stated the FAA.
The status was awarded based on the assessment by a visiting FAA delegation to Vietnam in last August. Achieving the Category 1 rating is an important achievement which is the result of many years of tireless efforts by the CAAV and the MoT.
“With the Category 1 rating, Vietnamese aviation corporations that are able to secure the requisite FAA and authority can establish service to the US and carry the code of US carriers”, according to FlightGlobal.
“The FAA had not previously assessed Vietnam’s civil aviation authority for compliance with ICAO standards,” the FAA told newswire FlightGlobal. “The Category 1 status announced today is based on an August 2018 FAA assessment of the safety oversight provided by the CAAV.”
In order to maintain the CAT 1 rating, a country must comply with safety standards of ICAO, the UN technical agency in charge of establishing international standards and recommended practices for operation and maintenance of aircraft.
After obtaining CAT 1 certification, Vietnamese airlines also need to apply for a commercial flight licence by the FAA to fly directly to the US.
Vietnam Airlines shared that the firm has yet to set a specific flight time to the US.
Two other carriers, Vietjet and Bamboo Airways, are also planning to open direct flights to the US, but currently have no wide-body aircraft to serve this route.
CAT 1 is not only a key technical element to establish a direct Vietnam-US flight but also contributes to elevating Vietnam in the international aviation market. In addition, the acquisition of CAT 1 gives the country the opportunity to codeshare with the world’s major airlines.
Vietnam Airlines has considered both the Boeing 777X and Airbus A350-1000 for the more than 16-hour straight flight between Ho Chi Minh City and Los Angeles. Low-cost rival Vietjet has discussed obtaining widebody aircraft for many times, and newcomer Bamboo Airways has committed to purchase 20 787-9 planes.