India's Civil Aviation Rating Dropped to Category 2: FAA

The rating indicates India's civil aviation safety oversight regime does not currently comply with the international standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announced Jan. 31 that India has been assigned a Category 2 rating under FAA's International Aviation Safety Assessment program, and that this rating indicates India’s civil aviation safety oversight regime does not currently comply with the international standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). FAA’s announcement stated, "however, the United States will continue to work with India's Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA) to identify the remaining steps necessary to regain Category 1 status for India. With a Category 2 rating, India's carriers can continue existing service to the United States, but will not be allowed to establish new service to the United States."

Headquartered in New Delhi, DGCA is the Indian government regulatory agency that deals with civil aviation safety issues. It is regulates air transport services to, from, and within India and enforces civil air regulations and air safety and airworthiness standards.

According to FAA, India achieved a Category 1 rating (which signifies compliance with ICAO standards) in August 1997, but a December 2012 ICAO audit identified deficiencies, which prompted FAA to begin a reassessment of India's compliance with ICAO standards. FAA's IASA program monitors adherence to international safety standards and practices.

FAA consulted with DCGA and other relevant Indian government ministries during its evaluation, with meetings in India in September 2013, December 2013, and this week. On Jan. 20, the Indian government moved to resolve outstanding issues when the Indian Cabinet approved the hiring of 75 additional full-time inspectors. "U.S. and Indian aviation officials have developed an important working relationship as our countries work to meet the challenges of ensuring international aviation safety. The FAA is available to work with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to help India regain its Category 1 rating," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

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