UNDER India's aggressive attempt to regain Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) category 1 status, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has commenced the recertification of all Indian carriers prior to the FAA audit scheduled for December.
Air India and Jet Airways, both of which currently fly to the US, are the first to be recertified to ensure they meet standards set by the Air Operators Certification Manual.
This will be followed by the remaining Indian carriers except AirAsia India that was certified in July according to the upgraded norms.
Each airline must submit all manuals and conduct a ‘proving flight’ to demonstrate complete compliance.
The FAA downgraded India to Category 2 in January, barring the country’s airlines from adding new flights to the US or entering new codeshare agreements with US airlines.
DGCA has since beefed up aviation standards to recapture Category 1 status, and now has 35 full-time flight operation inspectors to supervise the 500 aircraft flying in India.
A DGCA spokesperson added: "Aircraft makers and airlines will have to train our officials on any new type of aircraft they bring into the country.”
Rajendra Churiwala, director-eastern region, IATA Agents Association of India, said: “Indian carriers need to resume longhaul flights to US cities and codeshares to be financially viable.”