The FAA informed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation about the move in a letter to the regulator and the civil aviation ministry. ET has reviewed a copy of the letter.
The upgrade has come after an FAA team visited India as part of an audit in December last year. The US regulator examined critical areas of India's safety oversight system — primary aviation legislation; specific operating regulations; state civil aviation systems and functions; qualified technical personnel and their training; technical guidance, licensing, certification, authorization and/or approval obligations; surveillance obligations and resolution of safety issues.
A follow-up audit took place last month.
The FAA had downgraded India to category II in safety oversight capability in January last year over two key concerns — lack of training of its officials and lack of full-time Flight Operations Inspectors on DGCA's rolls. Both these issues have been resolved.
In a news release, the US Consulate General in Mumbai said US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the upgrade during a meeting between with India's civil aviation minister, Ashok Gajapathi Raju. The news release, citing Foxx, said India has complied with international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
"The United States Government commends the Government of India for taking corrective action to address the safety oversight issues identified during the IASA (International Aviation Safety Assessment Program) process," the release said, quoting Foxx.
A Category I rating means the country's civil aviation authority complies with ICAO standards and permits India's air carriers to add flights to the US using their own aircraft and carry the code of US carriers on their operations.
Attached below is the copy of the letter:
Source: Economic Times