India has yet again averted a safety audit and then a possible downgrade of its dangerously weak Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
The constant stumbling of skeletons from DGCA cupboards, along with questions on its oversight infrastructure and the government's kid-glove treatment of the airlines that may be compromising safety, had led the FAA some time back raising "doubt on effectiveness of DGCA's oversight of the Indian aviation industry."
FAA had threatened to conduct an international aviation safety assessment of the DGCA if it was established that the Indian regulator's oversight capacity had been compromised. But like last time when India evaded being downgraded by FAA to sub-Sahara African level, the government has, for now, managed to convince the Americans that all is well with the DGCA.
A team led by DGCA joint DG Charan Dass travelled to Washington in the last week of August to make a presentation of its annual surveillance programme to the FAA. "FAA was convinced that there has been no compromise on DGCA's function of oversight of the industry... It has been categorically stated by FAA that there is no requirement, as of now, to start ... a fresh IASA... They have also reiterated that India would continue to enjoy the privileges of Category I country," an aviation ministry said.