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ICAO finishes audit of India’s aviation sector

The United Nations aviation watchdog, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), just recently finished its audit of India’s aviation sector.

Initial feedback also indicated that the ICAO was “satisfied” with the regulatory mechanism, the government said.

The five-man ICAO audit team was in India from November 6 to the 16th to conduct its universal safety oversight audit program. The team took a closer look in six various areas,

The team appraised six different areas, including personnel licensing, airworthiness, operations, legislation and organization.

The team members made a trip to Chennai, Mumbai and the Civil Aviation Training College in Allahabad to examine the application of safety protocols as suggested by the ICAO and India’s aviation regulatory body, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

“As per preliminary feedback, the audit team was satisfied with the safety system put in place by the safety regulator,” said a statement issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The audit also involved verification of response provided by the DGCA to specific protocol questions sent by the ICAO.

The ICAO audit is a significant one especially for India’s fast-rising aviation sector, which has grown into one of the biggest domestic aviation markets in the world.

To guarantee that global aviation safety measures are complied with, the ICAO consistently conducts the universal safety oversight audit of its member states.

After the 2012 audit, the ICAO placed India in its list of 13 worst-performing nations. Then, a similar exercise made in 2014 by the US regulator, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), lowered India’s aviation safety ranking further, bringing it below Pakistan and at par with countries such as Ghana, Barbados and Bangladesh.

As a result, Indian airlines were barred from adding new routes to the US or sign commercial agreements with US airlines during that period.

The rating was reinstated to the top category in 2015, when India reportedly fared better than the global average in airworthiness, air navigation services, operations and licensing.

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