New Delhi: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is expected to conduct its final audit by the end of March. A team will be here to assess steps taken by aviation regulator DGCA to address the deficiencies in India’s aviation safety, which remains downgraded to category II status since January last year.

Securing the skies. ReutersSecuring the skies. Reuters

Securing the skies. Reuters

“We are expecting a Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) team here by the end of the month for a final review of the various measures taken by the DGCA on the aviation safety,” a senior civil aviation ministry official said today.

The decision to upgrade the country’s aviation safety will be taken after the US regulator’s team files its report, by mid-April. This official said almost all the major areas of concern identified by the FAA like shortage of flight operations inspectors, a proper filing system at the DGCA and regular worthiness checks on airlines have all been addressed by the DGCA.

“About 55 flight operation inspectors have been hired, all the files and records are now being maintained in a proper manner and checks on airlines have been started,” this official said.

The prime reason for the FAA to downgrade India’s aviation safety ranking to Category-II was lack of sufficient number of regular flight inspectors which had rendered the DGCA’s safety oversight ineffective. On 31 January, last year, the FAA had lowered India’s safety ranking to Category-II from Category-I which the country had been holding since 1997.

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India hopeful of getting back top safety rating from FAA