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Updated: February 1, 2014 02:07 IST

FAA downgrade means more headwind for Indian aviation

Sujay Mehdudia
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Minister for Civil Aviation, Ajit Singh along with DGCA, Prabhat Kumar addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: Ramesh Sharma.
Business Line
Minister for Civil Aviation, Ajit Singh along with DGCA, Prabhat Kumar addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: Ramesh Sharma.

In a development that took India by surprise, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the U.S. aviation regulatory body, announced on Friday that it had downgraded the country’s aviation safety ranking, bringing it below that of Pakistan and on a par with Ghana, Barbados and Bangladesh.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh termed the step “very disappointing and surprising” as India had solved 29 of the 31 issues raised by the FAA during inspections last year.

With the downgrade, Indian flights would have to go through more engineering and other safety checks in the U.S. The FAA decision means that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) does not meet the safety standards set by the U.N. agency, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

The news of the downgrade was conveyed to Director-General Prabhat Kumar. Air India and Jet Airways will now be barred from increasing the number of flights to the U.S. and will not be able to enter into any new code-sharing arrangement with any U.S. airline.

The move is, however, unlikely to have an impact on the 28 flights (21 of Air India and 7 of Jet Airways) a week already operating to the U.S. At present, Air India operates to Chicago and New York, while Jet Airways flies only to New York.

Officials in the Civil Aviation Ministry said the downgrade could have an impact on Air India’s move to join the Star Alliance.

Mr. Singh said India was now 95 per cent compliant with what the FAA had wanted the DGCA and the government to do in terms of taking corrective measures. “The remaining five per cent, that is recruitment and training of senior technical personnel in the DGCA, would be completed by March. The DGCA will remain in constant touch with the FAA, which will hopefully hold another review thereafter to revert India to Category I from the downgraded Category II.”

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To begin with , DGCA is not doing job properly also BCAS ,the only
indian aviation security regulator not checking the US carrier (United
Airlines) security function. An airline is violating Indian laws . There
employees are not re certified to do the AVSEC function. They are also
frisking the exempt category at the airport. Why indian authorities are
MUM on this ?

from:  Ritesh
Posted on: Feb 2, 2014 at 13:46 IST

Trust the government to make a mockery of our country on the world
stage!Why our government runs Air India? To give ministers like Ajit
Singh a free hand to loot it in lieu of supporting the government,
perhaps!Before him there was another gentleman called Mr. Praful Patel
who is very much responsible for the mess Air India is in today.
when the government is following its disinvestment policy with zeal
what is stopping it from giving the airlines back to private
organization. Even Ratan Tata had in past shown an interest in
reviving the airlines which originally belonged to his family.
Air India like everything Indian has tremendous potential, what it
require is a credible and professional leadership.

from:  jimi
Posted on: Feb 1, 2014 at 16:31 IST

YES - A Swadeshi movement - SOLUTION how to : Generate Knowledge based and Skilled Maintenance Engineers in the Aircraft Technology and Maintenance area.
How to do : This problem has been thoroughly analyzed and with the help of 35 Aeroexperts. a 4YR GRAD BTech program was developed by IGNOU Bangalore centre during the years 2008-2011 and ready for LAUNCH by Nov.'2011. Features included 3-acre land, Necessary Bldg plan approved,money sanctioned for Wind Tunnel, Adv Avionics and simulation labs ,Teaching Auditorium etc. But stopped due change of VC's. This activity can be REACTIVATED in National interest and get many qualified Manpower to the aviation Industry.
Who can do it : Well all CEO's concerned in Safety of Flying Machines
need to AWAKE, implement in National Interest. CEO's please remember the quote "Nobody can prevent accidents like you can" told every maintenance engineer.

from:  Dr B S Sudhindra
Posted on: Feb 1, 2014 at 10:31 IST

SOLUTION how to : Generate Knowledge based and Skilled Maintenance Engineers in the Aircraft Technology and Maintenance area.
How to do : This problem has been thoroughly analyzed and with the help of 35 Aeroexperts. a 4YR GRAD BTech program was developed by IGNOU Bangalore centre during the years 2008-2011 and ready for LAUNCH by Nov.'2011. Features included 3-acre land, Necessary Bldg plan approved,money sanctioned for Wind Tunnel, Adv Avionics and simulation labs ,Teaching Auditorium etc. But stopped due change of VC's. This activity can be REACTIVATED in National interest and get many qualified Manpower to the aviation Industry.
Who can do it : Well all CEO's concerned in Safety of Flying Machines
need to AWAKE, implement in National Interest. BEST WISHES

from:  Dr B S Sudhindra
Posted on: Feb 1, 2014 at 09:04 IST

The Descent of Air India, authored by Jitendra Bhargava and now
withdrawn by the publisher, appears to be bang-on the DGCA's,a s well
as, Civil Aviation ministry's role in the fall of Air India! It is sad
that we have forgotten the Swadeshi movement and the Indian babus are
spectators to the designs of their ministers!

from:  K Rajiv
Posted on: Jan 31, 2014 at 18:09 IST

And here the DGCA is more concerned about the VIP treatment to the MPs.
Misplaced priorities. Just who are the top guys at DGCA? How did they
get there?

from:  Ank
Posted on: Jan 31, 2014 at 17:55 IST
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