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US aviation regulator concerned over India's safety standards

New Delhi: US aviation regulator FAA has ruled out holding an immediate safety evaluation of its Indian counterpart DGCA, but has expressed concern over reports about the aviation safety scenario in the country.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had expressed "their concern based on media reports in India on the current civil aviation scenario and raised doubts on the effectiveness of DGCA's oversight of the  Indian aviation industry," an official statement said here.

The FAA's Flight Standard Office had last month written to the Director General of Civil Aviation on their  concerns and "indicated that if it is established that DGCA oversight has been compromised, then the necessary consultation process has to start in the direction of conducting an International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) of the DGCA by the FAA."

Agencies

The IASA is carried out to assess the capabilities of an aviation regulator. If found lacking, then the status of a regulator like DGCA could be downgraded and measures like halting all flights by Indian carriers, could be taken by FAA.

India, at present, is placed in Category-I or the safest aviation safety category.

Following the FAA notice, DGCA sent a team in August last week to hold meetings with FAA officials in  Washington and presented facts to allay their apprehensions.

The DGCA, which gave a detailed response based on the facts and figures and forwarded its Annual Surveillance Programme (ASP), "allayed the doubts", the statement said.

Under the ASP, DGCA carries out inspections and audit of all airlines in the country on various aspects, primarily concerning aviation safety.

Subsequent to the discussions, FAA was convinced that "there has been no compromise on DGCA's function of continuous oversight of the industry. FAA was fully satisfied with the DGCA’s functioning in various regulatory areas relating to safety," the statement said.

"It has been categorically stated by FAA that there is no requirement, as of now, to start any consultation process in the direction of conducting a fresh IASA of the DGCA by the FAA. They have also reiterated that India would continue to enjoy the privileges of Category-I country," it said.

PTI