US to enhance assistance for Indian civil aviation safety

New Delhi, Feb 9 (IANS) The central government on Tuesday said that the US will provide further financial assistance for strengthening safety related aspects of India’s civil aviation sector.

According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the Indian aviation regulator has entered into a grant agreement with the United States Technical Development Agency (USTDA).

The ministry elaborated that the grant agreement has been signed under the India aviation safety technical assistance phase II.

“The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and USTDA signed the grant agreement for India aviation safety technical assistance phase II in New Delhi today,” the ministry said in a statement.

“USTDA will be partially funding the assistance to the tune of $808,327 and contractor ‘The Wicks Group’ (TWG) will share the cost of assistance at $75,000. Government of India’s contribution is for an amount of $446,866.”

The ministry cited that the USTDA’s assistance was necessitated after the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) raised certain safety concerns about Indian aviation in its 2012 audit.

“Following this the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of USA carried out an ‘International Aviation Safety Assessment’ (IASA) audit in September 2013 and a review in December 2013, and India was assigned category II rating in January 2014,” the statement said.

“In March 2014, USTDA in coordination with FAA approached DGCA and offered assistance under a USTDA grant agreement project to address the FAA-IASA findings and help restore category I status to India.”

The ministry pointed out that under the grant agreement’s phase I, US based contractor TWG assisted DGCA in addressing the findings and prepared for a reassessment by FAA in December 2014.

“Based on this reassessment and a follow-up visit in March 2015, India’s category I status was restored in April 2015,” the statement added.

“Phase II of the current project is aimed at sustaining efforts undertaken during 2014 for restoration of IASA category I status and bringing in more systemic improvements in the area of operation, airworthiness and licensing. It will include components on general aviation and business aviation.”

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