12-664 BACKGROUND. The Heightened Surveillance
List (HSL) was one of the actions initiated by the Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) as a result of Chairman Robert Borski Subcommittee Investigations on Loophole
Airlines on June 4, 1991, previously known as the Special Emphasis List (SEL).
During those hearings, Congress emphasized the FAA’s responsibility to provide
safety oversight of foreign air carriers in order to ensue that they were operating
safely in the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS). This HSL is used to provide
inspectors with a listing of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14
129 foreign air carriers operating to/from the United States. The HSL is
an internal FAA tool for inspectors to target surveillance and is not a rating
system for air carriers. The HSL establishes additional levels of surveillance,
when warranted, based on specific criteria or indicators.
12-665 INTRODUCTION. The HSL is used to identify
increased surveillance requirements for part
129 foreign air carriers that are operating to the United States. part
129 air carriers must adhere to the safety standards of the International
Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The ICAO is the United Nations’ technical
agency for aviation that establishes International Standards and Recommended
Practice (ISARP) for aircraft operations and maintenance when conducting international
commercial transportation. Specifically, the FAA determines whether a foreign
aviation authority has an adequate system of aviation safety oversight, as defined
by ICAO Standards.
A. Category Determination. The FAA’s International
Programs and Policy Division (AFS‑50) uses the international aviation
safety assessment program (IASA) to determine if an ICAO member State’s Civil
Aviation Authority (CAA) meets the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices
(SARPs) in regards to Annex 1, Annex 6, Part I, and the applicable portions
of Annex 8. If they meet the ICAO requirements, they would be classified as
Category I; if not, then they would be Category 2, not in compliance with international
standards. All foreign air carriers from Category 2 member States must be on
B. HSL Currency. AFS‑50 publishes the HSL
on a quarterly basis and will make interim corrections as necessary to ensure
that the FAA’s safety oversight obligations are met. Specific criteria, as applied
to an air carrier’s operations, have been identified that could indicate a higher
level of risk. International Field Offices (IFO) and International Field Units
(IFU) will be the primary source for requests to add or remove part
129 foreign air carriers from the HSL by AFS‑50. AFS‑50 and
the Office of the Director (AFS‑1) may also make such requests. Any such
request for change must provide justification as detailed below.
principal inspectors (PI) with oversight responsibility will submit the request
to add or remove the air carrier from the HSL to AFS‑50. The PIs with
oversight responsibility should consider all input from geographic inspectors
and all other available information when making a decision to add or remove
a foreign air carrier from the HSL. Geographic inspectors must provide all supporting
information to the responsible PIs with operations specifications (OpSpecs)
A. Additions to the HSL. Certain conditions will
automatically result in the air carrier being added to the HSL, such as the
following two conditions.
Foreign air carriers operating from IASA Category 2 countries. They will remain
on the HSL until removed from the Category 2 list.
New entrant foreign air carriers operating scheduled services into the U.S.
airspace. (See note below.)
NOTE: New entrant air carriers are those that have
not previously operated to the United States. This does not include on-demand
charters that come to the United States infrequently and/or operating aircraft
with less than 20 seats. They must be evaluated on a case‑by‑case
B. Evaluation Criteria. Other criteria that must
be evaluated when determining if an air carrier should be added or removed from
the HSL include:
Foreign air carriers undertaking significant change of scope and type of operations
(e.g., nonscheduled to scheduled operations, cargo to passenger-carrying, addition
or removal of aircraft type and/or major change of route structure);
Reduction in work forces;
Merger or takeover;
Turnover in key personnel;
Relocation/closing of facilities;
Airlines requiring additional surveillance due to safety concerns; and
Airlines banned by other ICAO member States.
NOTE: Any one item on
list may not be enough to require that the air carrier be added to the HSL.
The information must be evaluated to determine if there is enough data about
the air carrier to add them to the list.
C. Increased Surveillance. When any of the above
criteria exists, the IFO’s/IFU’s Regional Office (RO) or Flight Standards District
Office (FSDO) having knowledge of a basis for a criteria change must make that
information available to the responsible IFO/IFU. A FSDO may request a foreign
air carrier be included on the HSL, however, the request must be processed through
the responsible IFO/IFU.
D. Initiating Office. Prior to making the
request for HSL inclusion, the initiating office ensures that the current environmental
information concerning the above issues is accurate in the enhanced Vital Information
Database (eVID) environmental database. The IFO/IFU must provide AFS‑50
with substantiating information and justification for requesting that the air
carrier be included on the HSL.
E. New Entrant Air Carriers. New entrant air carriers
will remain on the list for a minimum period of 1 year from issuance of OpSpecs.
After the 1st year, those foreign air carriers will be evaluated quarterly to
determine if they continue to meet the requirements to operate in U.S. airspace.
F. IASA Category 2. All IASA Category 2 countries
will remain on the list indefinitely until that country has been upgraded to
Category 1 status. The list of IASA country categories can be obtained from
the following Web site:
G. Responsibility. AFS‑50 will coordinate
with ROs (i.e., AFS‑230 branch managers and IFOs/IFUs) any changes affecting
the HSL. For example, AFS‑50 will coordinate with ROs when air carriers
are added to the list, when increased/decreased surveillance is requested, when
a request for maintaining current level of surveillance is received, when updating
the HSL, and to ensure that oversight is being provided for part
129 air carriers.
H. Geographic Responsibility.
offices with geographic responsibility should monitor the HSL quarterly to ensure
the list accurately reflects current status. If the air carrier no longer operates
within their geographic area of responsibility, the environmental eVID shall
be updated to reflect the changes. The PIs with oversight responsibility should
be notified of any environmental changes. The PIs with oversight responsibility
should notify the geographic field office of any change that would affect their
environmental eVID data. If the air carrier no longer conducts operations within
the field office area of responsibility, the RO should be notified and the eVID
data items should be transferred to another field office for completion if applicable.
In some cases, this will be in other geographic regions. If the minimum national
surveillance requirement has been met, the “R” items may be terminated using
the appropriate Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (PTRS) procedure.
I. Additional Surveillance. IFO/IFU
and geographically responsible FSDOs shall ensure that qualified aviation safety
inspectors (ASI) perform additional surveillance on HSL air carriers.
J. Ramp Inspections.
appearing on the HSL will receive one additional ramp inspection quarterly at
each airport of operation (1622, 3627, and 5627) until the FAA removes them
from the HSL. These required inspections should be locally generated. Enter
the inspection into the National PTRS, and enter the acronym “HSL” (without
the quotation marks) into the National Use field.
NOTE: For all foreign ramp inspections ASIs must
meet the following training requirements before conducting these ramp inspections:
(1) completed online training course 27100142 , How to Conduct a 14 CFR part
129 Ramp Inspection; and (2) have completed all required on‑the‑job
training (OJT) for such inspections.
K. Results. Office managers shall monitor
the quality of PTRS inspection results. The results of ramp inspections will
be used to evaluate the air carrier’s ability to continue operation in the United
States. If a status change is required, it should be coordinated with the IFO/IFU
responsible PIs, ROs, and AFS‑50 for publication.
L. Unsatisfactory Results.
the ASI has findings that the foreign air carrier does not meet the international
standards established by ICAO, the ASI will provide those findings to the flightcrew/station
manager and notify the IFO/IFU. IFOs/IFUs will maintain contact with the foreign
operator to resolve noted findings/issues. If an additional safety concern exists
or the IFO/IFU does not receive positive resolution of findings with the foreign
air carrier, the IFO/IFU manager will notify AFS‑50. The AFS‑50
manager will then notify the air carrier’s foreign CAA of the FAA’s concerns
and initiate consultations.
M. Consultations. No significant improvement in
the air carrier’s operations following consultation could result in the suspension/revocation
of OpSpecs and Department of Transportation (DOT) economic authority.
12-667 PROCEDURES. All requests, as identified
in paragraph 12‑666, must be submitted to AFS‑50 through the responsible
IFO/IFU PIs and ROs for inclusion in the HSL.
A. Reevaluation. New
entrants will be reevaluated after 1 year by the responsible IFO/IFU to determine
if the air carrier should remain on the list. If the air carrier is operating
within the ICAO Standards, after the 1‑year period, the IFO/IFU may request
that the new entrant air carrier be removed from the list. If during the 1st
year of the evaluation process, the inspection results or other information
reflects safety risks, the results shall be documented and a recommendation
for the air carrier to remain on the HSL will be forwarded to the AFS‑50
manager. Coordination with the CAA concerning findings will be accomplished
by the PI with OpSpecs responsibility, the regional coordinator, and with the
support of AFS‑50, as required.
from the HSL is determined by documentation in the PTRS data and recommendations
from the IFO/IFU responsible PIs to AFS‑50, through the RO, that the air
carriers should not be on the HSL.
C. Coordination. AFS‑50 is responsible for
the updates to the HSL. The AFS‑50 HSL coordinator will work with the
IFOs/IFUs to add or remove an air carrier from the HSL. The AFS‑50 coordinator
will maintain a file with the history of all foreign air carriers that are on
the HSL. Each air carrier change will contain the written justification for
adding or removing an air carrier to or from the list. This justification will
be provided by the IFO/IFU responsible PIs through their office manager.
D. Validation. The HSL program manager will
validate all information to ensure that all the required data is correct. The
IFO/IFU responsible PIs will ensure that all n data and eVID information is
provided to the geographic field offices. The geographic field office managers
will ensure that all environmental eVID data is entered into the eVID system
and is correct.
E. Required Information. The responsible IFO/IFU
PIs and ROs making the request should provide the following information in writing
or via e‑mail to AFS‑50:
Foreign operator name and FAA/ICAO designator,
Country/State of Operator/Registry,
Date of request,
· PI’s recommendations
for the request with justification,
Country/State of Operator IASA category,
Name of contact person from requesting office, and
· All primary airports
of operations within the United States.
NOTE: If any of required information is missing,
the request will be returned within 10 business‑days to the originating
office for correction.
F. Process. Upon receipt, the request is assigned to
the HSL program manager.
The program manager reviews the request and the associated eVID/environmental
database, and then makes the determination for updating or adding/removing a
foreign air carrier from the HSL.
2) Once the determination is made by AFS‑50, the
program manager ensures the information is complete per subparagraphs 12‑668D
and E and enters the request in AFS‑50’s database. The program manager
a) Approves and updates the HSL or returns the request
to the originating office with a reason for disapproval via e‑mail within
c) Reviews and updates the HSL quarterly.
G. Final Approval. AFS‑50 is the final
approving authority for requests to add or remove a foreign air carrier to the
HSL. Once a decision has been reached, the requesting office will receive acknowledgement
of approval/disapproval of request.
RESERVED. Paragraphs 12-668 through 12-683.