After 82 years, Israel may soon have a law governing aviation in its skies. Sunday, the ministerial legislative committee approved a draft Aviation Law, which will replace the regulations inherited from the British Mandate and enacted in 1927.
Enactment of an Aviation Law would be a major step to regaining high security clearance from the United States. In 2008, citing a lack of proper supervision from civilian authorities, the Federal Aviation Administration downgraded Israel's Aviation Safety ranking to 2 - the level typically given to Third World countries. The FAA cited enactment of an aviation law as central to restoration of Israel's status to Category 1.
A Category 2 rating from the FAA's International Aviation Safety Assessment body meant that Israeli air carriers were not allowed to establish new lines to the U.S.
The new law would adapt Israel's aviation system to the Chicago international aviation treaty, lay down the supervisory and enforcement powers of the civilian authorities, regulate coordination between civilian and military aviation, and so on.
The Israel Airports Authority has set up a special administration to handle restoring Israel to Category 1 ranking. While this body is working closely with the FAA, a return to the higher ranking is not expected to happen this year.
Transport Minister Yisrael Katz said that with the blessing of the ministerial legislative committee, the draft Aviation Law can be brought before the Knesset for voting into law immediately.
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