statesman news service
New Delhi, 25 August
India is all set to be cleared of aviation safety concerns raised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) after its review of the corrective actions suggested by it last year.
India is one of the nations having significant aviation safety concerns, with an audit by ICAO showing that action plans were in place to address them.
After a safety audit carried out by ICAO experts, the auditors informed aviation regulator DGCA yesterday that they would recommend India’s removal from the category of countries which have “significant safety concerns”.
“The auditors have cleared us of all the ‘significant safety concerns’. They have recommended this to their (ICAO) headquarters in Montreal,” said Director General of Civil Aviation Arun Mishra.
“The week-long audit has shown that India has implemented corrective action plans to address the safety concerns satisfactorily,” Mr Mishra said. A formal clearance by the UN-body ICAO is likely to come within a week or 10 days.
The ICAO audit report is significant as India could have been permanently downgraded in terms of following aviation safety norms.
Normally, such a downgrade could have global ramifications and, among other things, lead other countries not to allow the airlines of the downgraded nation to fly in their skies or stop the sale of aviation products.
Earlier this year, India had been clubbed by the ICAO with Congo, Guatemala, Haiti and Hungary, which had “significant safety concerns”.
In its audit last year too, the ICAO had identified concerns regarding India’s ability to oversee safety of airlines under its jurisdiction.
A major concern expressed by the ICAO audit was about safety issues of the non-scheduled or chartered air operators.
This led the DGCA to issue two successive orders on 21 and 22 August notifying air charter firms and other such private operators that they could not fly
abroad until they applied for and got the required certification.