US FAA likely to review India aviation rating post March

Written by Mihir Mishra | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 14 2014, 14:39pm hrs
Air IndiaUS FAA may review the status of India?s aviation sector after March this year.
The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) of the United States may review the status of Indias aviation sector after March this year, provided the local authorities sort out the deficiencies raised by the US regulator.

The assurance came during a meeting between director general of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Prabhat Kumar, and FAA authorities on the sidelines of the Singapore Air Show this week.

The FAA had downgraded Indias aviation sector to Category-II from Category-I last month after the DGCA failed to resolve concerns raised by the US aviation regulator in its audit. The issues raised by FAA were on lack of full-time flight operations inspectors in the DGCA and deficiency in training provided to its employees.

We apprised the FAA about the work done in the past one-and-half month and also informed them that we would be able to fulfill the concerns raised in their audits by the end of March. There is no timeline for another audit, but we have been assured that they will take a re-look at our status the moment we address all their concerns. We are in constant touch with the FAA and updating them about the developments we make, said a senior DGCA official.

We have initiated the process and will be able to fill in vacancies of flight operation inspectors by March-end. The training of our employees is also currently going on. We will first resolve all their concerns and then call them for an audit, the official added.

The DGCA also held meetings with aviation regulators of Australia, Singapore and Europe. We apprised them about our regulations and informed them we are still better than many countries on regulations, said the official.

Meanwhile, the DGCA has called a meeting of CEO of Indian carriers on Friday to ask them to follow all International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards.

The aircraft flown by our carriers may be subjected to checks by international authorities and they need to follow all rules. The airlines need to prepare themselves, as any discrepancy detected in their aircraft outside would go against our attempt to get back Category-I status, said the DGCA official.

In another development, the Union Cabinet has cleared the amendments to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Bill, which would help India in getting back its Category-I status. Another government official said that the CAA Bill would now be tabled in the Lok Sabha for clearance. We hope to table it in the current session of Parliament and a request has been sent to the parliamentary affairs ministry. Clearance of the CAA Bill will definitely help in getting back the status, said the official.