Dec. 13--NEW DELHI -- The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) completed a compliance audit of India's aviation regulator on Thursday and will submit its final report within a month -- maintaining or downgrading the country's air safety rankings.
A three-member team of the FAA completed its two-day audit on Thursday.
"The issue is whether it will be a downgrade or a maintain," said a top government official who asked not to be identified. "That decision will be made in Washington. They are very impressed with the work done in the last two months. Of the 33 issues (raised by the FAA in an earlier audit), 26 findings were closed; only seven are now outstanding and are work-in-progress. These will take time."
The FAA's September audit had highlighted these issues.
The issues that remain to be addressed include the hiring of flight inspectors and specialized training of airworthiness officers on charter and business jets. These require changes in government rules and time and the FAA has been told so, the same official said.
"The chances of a downgrade appear low. They seem very satisfied with the outcome," said a second government official who also asked not to be identified.
The FAA's September audit was prompted by United Nations body International Civil Aviation Organization's earlier audit that found problems with the way India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) works.
India will get to know the result of its discussions with the FAA within the next three-four weeks, the first official said, adding the visiting team is not authorized to brief the DGCA on the outcome immediately.
If the agency downgrades India, airlines based in the country won't be able to increase the number of flights to the US and additional checks will be imposed on existing flights of Air India Ltd and Jet Airways (India) Ltd.
The FAA downgraded the safety ranking of Mexico in 2010 and Israel in 2008.
Copyright 2013 - Mint, New Delhi
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This FAA rating signifies that India’s civil aviation safety oversight regime does not currently comply with the international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization...
This signifies that India’s civil aviation safety oversight regime does not currently comply with the international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
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