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25 September, 2002
Athens on Tuesday again called on the US government's influential Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to upgrade Greece's civil aviation status as pertaining to flight safety to level A, its highest ranking.
The issue dominated a meeting in the Greek capital between Transport Minister Christos Verelis and US ambassador to Athens Thomas Miller, as the former presented the US envoy with the latest International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) report outlining recent measures taken by Greece's civil aviation authority (YPA) regarding flight safety.
According to reports, Verelis conveyed to Miller Athens' request for an official FAA visit to Greece in order to verify it's upgraded flight safety standards. Currently, the FAA considers Greece in level B.
In response to press questions, Miller again said he feels completely safe in Greece, noting that he regularly recommends travel here to friends and acquaintances in America. He also expressed a hope that a FAA inspection team will arrive in Greece as soon as possible to focus on the southeast Mediterranean country's civil aviation ranking.
According to a May 2000 ICAO report, 36 points were brought to the attention of Greece's civil aviation authority for improvement, whereas a subsequent ICAO inspection in March 2002 verified whether specific improvements and changes were made.
Seven out of the original 36 points cited -- mostly bureaucratic and civil aviation legislation issues -- remain pending, although the local civil aviation authority has committed to pushing through reforms by no later than March 2003.
Source: Athens News Agency