The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently announced an alteration to India’s Aviation safety rating, following an assessment of India’s civil aviation authority.

The revised rating of “category 2” under the International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) programme, reflects the FAA’s decision that India’s civil aviation authority is not compliant with international safety standards set down by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).  This means that while current Indian operations to the US can continue, no new services can be established.

IASA’s auditing programme focuses on the ability of countries (rather than the individual airlines) to comply with the ICAO’s standards for aircraft operations and maintenance.  Other countries listed in category 2 include Indonesia, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

Jet Airways and Air India are currently the only carriers from India to the US and are therefore expected to be directly affected by the revised safety rating.  India’s revised rating means that pursuant to US Law, its carriers cannot enter into codeshare agreements for shared business with US airlines and will be subject to increased safety checks.

India’s Aviation Minister Ajit Singh commented: “it’s very disappointing and also surprising.”

Shortly after the announcement Jet Airway’s shares fell 3.7% in Mumbai.

Following the FAA’s decision, it is possible that other countries’ regulators may follow suit.  The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has not highlighted any concerns with India’s aviation safety regime at present, but assured that it is monitoring international services.

The FAA’s press release is available here