Post-US downgrade, Singapore ups inspection of Indian planes

Written by fe Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: Feb 6 2014, 07:00am hrs
PlanesCAAS has a FOSP in place for authorising foreign carriers to operate in Singapore and for the surveillance of such operations.
Following the US Federal Aviation Administrations (FAA) recent decision to downgrade India to Category 2 under its IASA programme, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has stepped up ramp inspections of the aircraft of Indian carriers operating in Singapore, the regulatory body told FE on Wednesday. However, CAAS has not yet imposed any restriction on Indian carriers flying to Singapore.

CAAS is also evaluating safety information from other aviation authorities, such as the outcomes of the audits they conducted.

Should there be concern that the operations and/or aircraft airworthiness could pose an imminent safety risk, CAAS may suspend or revoke the operations permit or vary the conditions of the operations permit such as setting limitations to operations as necessary, a CAAS spokesperson added.

CAAS has a foreign operators surveillance programe (FOSP) in place for authorising foreign carriers to operate in Singapore and for the surveillance of such operations. Under the programme, CAAS also conducts periodic ramp inspections of foreign aircraft when in Singapore. The frequency of ramp inspections is dependent on CAAS assessment of the carrier. Any major finding of deficiency in a ramp inspection has to be addressed by the carrier for it to continue operations in Singapore, the CAAS spokesperson informed FE.

The safety of air transport operations, passengers and the public is paramount. CAAS will closely monitor developments and would consider appropriate measures to address any significant safety risks, the spokesperson added.

Jet Airways and Air India officials were not available for comment . The Jet Airways scrip fell 2.1% to close at Rs 211.75 on the Bombay Stock Exchange after the CAAS statement. Since FAAs downgrade typically has a domino effect, safety regulators in the European Union (EASA), Japan (CAB) and UAE (GCAA) may follow suit soon, said Amber Dubey, partner and head (aerospace and defense) at KPMG.

FAA last week downgraded Indias ranking to Category 2 from Category 1, putting it on par with Zimbabwe and Indonesia, after a review of the aviation regulator DGCA revealed that its safety oversight processes dont meet global standards.

Under FOSP, foreign carriers are also required to have an operations permit from CAAS to operate in the country. CAAS evaluates an application for an operations permit using a risk-based methodology, taking into consideration factors such as the safety oversight capability of the state of operator (state where the carrier is granted its air operator certificate) and/or the state of registry (state where the aircraft is registered), the operational capability of the carrier, and the safety records of the aircraft and aircraft type to be deployed for the operations,the CAAS spokesperson added.