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US FAA inspectors coming to Bulgaria in December 2007

Date: 07.11.2007

Inspectors from the United States Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) will be coming to Bulgaria in December 2007 to assess the safety and security of the country’s airports and airlines, US ambassador John Beyrle said on November 6.

The inspectors will decide whether Bulgaria should be recommended for “category one” approval which would open the way for direct air services between the US and Bulgaria.

Beyrle was speaking at a discussion hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria on the theme of Bulgaria’s first year as a member of the European Union.

He said that the US was committed to intensive co-operation with Bulgaria in key areas.

These included energy diversity and security, so that Bulgaria would be less dependent on a single source for oil and gas, intellectual property protection – Beyrle said that Bulgaria had made tremendous progress in this regard, but this needed to be sustained – aviation safety, and defence procurement, where Beyrle called for decisions to be made according to interests of national security rather than for private or political reasons.

Also on the theme of aviation safety, Bulgaria’s European Affairs Minister Gergana Grancharova referred to the safeguard clause imposed against Bulgaria on EU accession that excluded the country from full status in the aviation field. She said that she believed that there would soon be “good news” in regard to this exclusion.

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