The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has downgraded India to a category 2 safety rating, prohibiting Indian carriers from starting new service to the USA.
“This signifies that India’s civil aviation safety oversight regime does not currently comply with the international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO),” the agency says in a media release.
The new rating permits existing Indian carriers flying to the USA now to continue their existing routes, but prohibits the carriers from starting new service, says the FAA.
Air India and Jet Airways are the only Indian carriers serving the USA, Innovata FlightMaps Analytics shows. Air India serves Chicago O'Hare, Newark Liberty and New York JFK from Ahmedabad, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai, and Jet serves New York JFK from Brussels and Mumbai.
India was awarded a category 1 rating in August 1997, however, a December 2012 ICAO audit found deficiencies in safety oversight by India’s Director General Aviation (DGCA).
India’s government added 75 additional inspectors this month and has made “significant” progress towards resolving the issues, says the FAA. The two authorities held consultations in September and early December and are meeting in Delhi this week.
"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," says FAA administrator Michael Huerta.