Civil aviation minister Ajit Singh confirmed the forthcoming FAA audit. "We have received a letter about it, but I do not have the details," he said.
In March, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) had named India among 13 countries with the most dismal air safety monitoring records.
According to the report, the DGCA’s safety monitoring standards have been below the global average across all parameters such as legislation, licensing, organisations, etc.
Air safety experts said that this audit was important because the FAA could downgrade India if its officials were not satisfied with the safety standards. "It could mean that the US government could introduce restrictions on Indian airlines operating in the US," said an air safety expert.
This is the second time that India is facing fears of being downgraded. In 2009, the FAA had threatened to revise India’s position to category II, citing massive staff shortage in the DGCA.