Downgrading of India’s aviation safety ratings by the Federal Aviation Administration may impact domestic aircraft chartering business in the long run, a senior official of Business Aircraft Operator’s Association of India said.

BAOA secretary R.K. Bali said as India does not have adequate number of personnel to carry out regular inspections, aviation companies may tend to become complacent.

“It will affect the business in the long run definitely as far as charter business is concerned. May be in the neighbouring countries if they want charter plans, they will go for some other country because they see safety issues (here). It does affect the business. It is too early, but it is going to show affect all over the world,” Mr. Bali told PTI on the sidelines of India Aviation-2014.

Recently the FAA said that it has downgraded India’s aviation safety rating from the top to the second category.

The downgrade from Category I to II means that Indian aviation regulator does not meet the safety standards set by the U.N. agency, the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

Mr. Bali said if any country has weak safety oversight, then people will hesitate to charter planes from that country as it may tend to sudden checks when the aircraft flies to some other country, forcing unexpected delays.

“We (India) do not have adequate number of inspectors to go and inspect. If the regular inspections are not carried regularly, people tend to become complacent. There has to be regular checks to make the people to be on their toes,” Mr. Bali said.

The total inventory value of general Aviation aircraft in India is over Rs. 12,000 crore providing direct employment of 12,000 and an equal number indirectly, the aviation body said.

BAOA has called for a separate regulatory framework for General Aviation to clear bottlenecks for the sector to grow in India.

According to the figures supplied by BAOA, as on August 2013, India had 525 aircraft, as against 558 in 2012.

This dismal performance is due to poor induction of aircraft to the existing fleet and large number of de-induction.

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