The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), the US aviation regulatory authority, completed its audit of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and confirmed that the Indian aviation adheres to the standards laid by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Therefore, it retained India’s aviation safety rating at Category 1.
FAA conducted the audit in July 2018. It primarily checks aspects of guidance and training materials used. “FAA has formally communicated that India is adhering to the safety standards of ICAO and has confirmed India’s International Aviation Safety Assessment rating remains Category 1,” DGCA said.
“During discussions held with the FAA last month, the DGCA presented actions taken to address July 2018 audit findings,” a DGCA authority added.
The Category 1 ranking makes Indian aviation eligible to continue services in the US and allows it to make code-share arrangements with the US carriers.
UN agency ICAO ranked India’s aviation safety low
FAA conducted the audit after ICAO, a specialised agency of the United Nations, placed India in lower safety ranking category in a previous inspection conducted in November 2017. ICAO ranked India low mainly in three areas – accident investigation, airport standards, and air navigation services. It evaluates eight fields in total including legislation, licensing, airworthiness of aircraft and organisation. The aggregate of the scores will come as an overall Effective Implementation (EI) score in percentage terms. India’s EI score was 57.44 percentage compared to the previous audit score of 65.82 percentage indicating a severe drop. ICAO ranked India below Pakistan, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, etc.
FAA regularly conducts a program IASA to evaluate the aviation authority of every country that provides air services to the US. Thereby, it knows that the foreign aviation authority ensures proper safety standards to the carriers that operate in the US.