The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded Vietnam a Category 1 rating under the agency’s International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program.

A Category 1 rating means Vietnam’s civil aviation authority meets ICAO standards for personnel licensing, operations, and airworthiness. With the Category 1 rating, Vietnamese air carriers will be able to open direct service to the United States and codeshare with US carriers.

The assessment was based on an August 2018 FAA audit of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) and its safety oversight mechanisms and abilities.

For its part, Vietnam Airlines has an application for exemption authority and a Foreign Air Carrier Permit (FACP) currently pending with the US Department of Transportation (DOT). Bamboo Airways and VietJetAir have also expressed an interest in opening up service to North America.

Commenting on the FAA's decision to award Vietnam Category 1 status, Bamboo Airways General Director, Thang Dang Tat, told the Saigon Times that the full-service carrier would "certainly have direct flights to the US" in 2020.