With global aviation watchdog ICAO giving low score to India after safety oversight audit, the government has decided to entrust the regulation of air traffic controllers with the DGCA.
Senior Civil Aviation Ministry officials today said India's score after the latest ICAO audit fell to 57.44 per cent from the previous level of 65.82 per cent.
The decline was mainly due to ratings of air traffic controllers being given by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), which is also the provider of air traffic control services, the officials said.
Now, the ministry has decided that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) would be carrying out regulatory and safety oversight of air traffic controllers, Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey told reporters here.
The DGCA is currently developing a system to oversee the controllers of AAI, which once in place, would improve the effective implementation levels as required by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
The ICAO told the ministry that there was a need for an independent regulatory oversight by the DGCA on the AAI with respect to air traffic controllers, the officials said.
At present, the AAI is regulating as well as providing services of air traffic controllers.
According to DGCA chief B S Bhullar, if the ICAO had not taken this aspect into consideration, then India's score after the audit would have been 71.13 per cent.
The ICAO carried out a detailed audit of India under the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme in November 2017 and again another team came in February this year.
The score is based on eight audit areas, including primary aviation legislation and aviation regulations, civil aviation organisation, personnel licensing and training.
As per the latest ICAO audit data, India is placed below neighbouring Pakistan, Nepal and many other countries.
Choubey asserted that the ICAO did not raise any serious safety concerns after the audit. The safety and security of Indian aviation sector would not be compromised, he added.
Meanwhile, the US Federal Aviation Administration today started an audit of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The audit would cover three key areas -- operations, airworthiness and pilots' licensing mechanism.
Since 2013, this would be the third audit of the domestic aviation regulator by the FAA. In 2013, the American regulator had downgraded the safety ranking of the Indian aviation sector and it was restored only in 2015.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)