The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the USA, which conducted an audit of India's aviation watchdog DGCA, has made certain "observations" related to regulatory and guidance material, on which time-bound action will be taken, an official statement said today.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in the statement said the FAA, under its International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) programme, conducted the audit between July 16 and July 20 in areas covering aircraft operations, airworthiness and personnel licensing.
It did not elaborate on the observations or the concerns flagged by the US regulator, but said the FAA team will come for a final consultation within 65 days wherein the DGCA shall present the action taken on the observations.
"Overall, the audit has been very satisfactory. According to the FAA's established process, a written report will be provided within next 30 days and thereafter an FAA team will come for final consultation within 65 days, wherein the DGCA shall present the action taken on the observations," the statement said.
The observations raised by FAA assumes significance as it comes against the backdrop of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), an UN body, giving a low score to India following an audit programme for the country, placing it below Pakistan, Nepal and many other nations.
The DGCA statement issued today said during the course of the IASA audit, the FAA team was shown regulations including extensive technical guidance in the areas of operations, airworthiness, surveillance and enforcement for the use of safety inspectors of DGCA to carry out licensing, certification, and approval obligations along with certification records.
The training programme provided to the technical officers and inspectors and records therein was also shown to the FAA audit team, the statement said, and underlined that the DGCA is commencing action on the observations made during the verbal out-brief given by FAA team and is very confident to addressing all those within a specific timeline.
It said that the FAA team gave a "verbal out-brief listing the observations" which relate to regulatory and guidance material issues within DGCA.
This was the third audit by the US regulator since 2013. In that year, the FAA had downgraded the safety ranking of the Indian aviation sector and it was restored only in 2015.