The government does not have adequate information to judge the Year 2000 computer readiness of 17 nations with direct air lines to the United States, the Transportation Department said yesterday.

Information on the department's Web site ( showed "insufficient information" makes it difficult to predict the likelihood of Y2K disruptions in civil aviation systems in these countries:

Aruba, Cayman Islands, Czech Republic, French Antilles, French Polynesia, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Netherlands Antilles, Paraguay, Samoa, St. Kitts, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos and Uruguay.

Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater said the government will continue to "ask questions" about Y2K readiness abroad but said that "travelers should exercise care and get all the information they possibly can before making plans."

At a Senate hearing yesterday, federal officials said major U.S. airlines have made good progress on Y2K problems but noted that 1,900 small carriers had not responded to a Federal Aviation Administration survey. Officials fear that come Jan. 1, some computers using two digits for dates could confuse "00" as 1900 and malfunction.

Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), vice chairman of the Senate's special Y2K committee, said he will draft legislation to ground any U.S. carrier that does not respond to the FAA by year's end.