Dominican Republic could lose category 1 if IDAC fails in US aviation audit
Santo Domingo.- If the Dominican Republic falls short in any of the eight criteria assessed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the country faces the risk of having its category downgraded from one to two in the International Aviation Safety Audit program (IASA). This downgrade would have the consequence of preventing new airlines from operating flights to the country. This information was shared with Diario Libre by Javier Rodríguez, an international advisor of Cuban origin hired by the Dominican Institute of Civil Aviation (IDAC) to assist with the upcoming FAA inspection, the first in 16 years.
The IASA audit is a specific assessment of IDAC, the regulatory authority for aviation in the Dominican Republic, aimed at determining whether international civil aviation standards are being met. This evaluation focuses on eight critical elements of aviation, including basic aeronautical legislation, operating regulations, state system and functions, technical specialist training, guidance, procedures, information, safety problem-solving, surveillance, and inspection.
Rodríguez explained that a team of eight experts will conduct a week-long visit to IDAC to administer a random questionnaire consisting of 193 detailed questions related to the eight key criteria. It is essential for all eight critical elements to be met, as a failure in any of them would result in the country’s downgrade to category two of the FAA’s IASA program.
He emphasized that such a downgrade would have collateral consequences. New airlines would be prohibited from flying to the United States, and existing airlines flying to the U.S. would be unable to expand their operations or add more aircraft to their fleets. Avoiding the audit is not a solution, as it could lead to restrictions on Dominican airlines’ services over U.S. and European territories.
Rodríguez stated that the FAA’s intensified scrutiny of the Dominican Republic is due to its rapid growth in the aviation sector, boasting a modern aircraft fleet and new routes. Despite the challenges, Rodríguez believes the country has a strong foundation for success due to its high safety standards. IDAC has taken proactive steps by hiring a permanent advisory team to assist in the innovation process and updating the aircraft fleet of local airlines over the past two years.