Indian DGCA may regain its Aviation safety rating from Federal Aviation Authority FAA USA
India may regain American Aviation regulator's category 1 rating for safety standards within the next few months as the Federal Aviation Authority has agreed to another audit after appearing to be satisfied with the corrective measures that have been put in place since January when it downgraded the country.
The consent to another audit by the FAA, which is seen as the first step to restoring the category 1 status, came after a six-member team of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation made a presentation to the US regulator on Thursday.
"The FAA is satisfied with our performance and has agreed to come to India to audit us again. We have requested them to come either in September-end or October first week, but they have not given us a date for the audit yet," said a senior civil Aviation ministry official, requesting anonymity.
The government hopes that the FAA will restore the category 1 status before the end of the year, another official said. The FAA had downgraded India to category 2 status after it found that the DGCA did not have enough flight operations inspectors and its officials were not trained on the type of Aircraft flying in India.
A six-member team, headed by Director General of the DGCA Prabhat Kumar, went to the US last week to apprise the FAA of the work done in the country to address concerns that it had raised in its audits conducted in September and December last year.
The team is learnt to have told the FAA that the Indian regulator has 20 full-time flight operations inspectors, which are enough to monitor the 500 Aircraft flying in the country.
The team also conveyed that the DGCA is about to recruit another 15-20 inspectors. Earlier, the DGCA did not have any regular flight operations inspectors.
Pilots and commanders were seconded from scheduled Airlines to carry out these functions. The team also sought to allay the FAA's concerns over the training imparted to the DGCA officials, saying the officials had been duly trained on the types of Aircraft flying in India.