NEW DELHI: The regulatory oversight of Indian aviation — whose job is to ensure people fly here safely — seems to be constantly under the scanner of leading international agencies. America’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is going to audit the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for the third time since 2013. And the latest FAA audit comes soon after the Indian regulator underwent an audit by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) last November.
1. Confirming the FAA move, a senior DGCA official said: “It is a routine verification that FAA wishes to do.”
2. After the first-ever downgrade, India took a number of steps to strengthen the DGCA
3. In April 2015, FAA had restored Indian aviation’s top safety ranking.
Confirming the FAA move, a senior DGCA official said: “It is a routine verification which FAA wishes to do. The fact that it is coming immediately after ICAO’s regular audit is a matter of comfort because ICAO audit has not thrown up any safety issue whatsoever. We would have preferred FAA to come a little later because of various other pressing administrative initiatives with which DGCA is currently engaged (such as e-GCA or making available most services of the regulator online). However, we will work out a mutually convenient time for FAA’s verification process.”
While FAA reportedly wants to come in a month or two, the Indian agency is learnt to be in favour of deferring the visit for some time as it is still implementing some changes recommended by the latest ICAO audit and the fact that ICAO audit did not express any serious safety concern.