India, an ancient and accomplished nation, has endured a long and difficult process trying to convince another sovereign, the United States’ FAA, that it is worthy of acceptance as a competent civil aviation authority. The notion that one equal can pass judgment on another strains the bounds of diplomacy. To limit the appearance of subjectivity and to enhance the credibility of the program, the FAA created strict standards called the International Aviation Safety Assessment.
The below article intimates that the FAA will elevate the status of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to Category I, at the same time as (BECAUSE?) President Obama will be visiting New Delhi. If there is such an outcome, good for the DGCA; if the President’s visit has stimulated the FAA to upgrade the Category, that’s bad for all.
The article never explicitly states that the President has attempted to push the FAA’s judgment. The author does recite the history of repeated FAA-DGCA meetings and the deficiencies found in India’s capability to regulate safety. At the most recent consultations the DGCA was told the FAA’s final criticism–that it had inadequate numbers of Flight Operations Inspectors and that there was a need to train them to standards.
The DGCA has begun, according to a source, to hire the FOIs; training will obviously take time. The FAA’s next review with the DGCA is scheduled for February, 2015.
The President will participate in India’s Republic Day celebrations, which will be held on January 26, 2015. It is clear that the FAA’s final assessment will not be complete. Hopefully, the upgrade to Category I will occur later. Safety is a standard which should rise above other considerations.
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