The decision by the United States to upgrade Greek airports to a top security rating is being hailed as a «national success» by Transport Minister Michalis Liapis. The US ambassador to Greece, Charles Ries, told Liapis yesterday the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has ranked the safety levels provided by Greece’s civil aviation authority in Category 1 of its ratings. That’s an improvement since 2000, when the FAA judged that Greece did not comply with international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and gave the country a less desirable Category 2 rating. Yesterday’s decision could pave the way for more flights – and to more destinations – between Greece and the US. Airlines will be able to reduce their security costs as intensive checks on planes flying to the US can now be relaxed slightly. Liapis said the upgrade will help Greek tourism and promised to pass legislation on airport security shortly that would put Greece in line with international standards.