The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Thursday confirmed India's topmost category status on aviation safety and said the country was considered a "role model" in this field for other nations to follow.
An FAA team, which was in New Delhi to conduct safety audit, on Thursday informed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) that India continued to remain in Category-1 status of FAA under its International Aviation Safety Assessment Programme (IASA), an official spokesperson said.
The safety audit came in the backdrop of the May 22 Mangalore aircrash and several aviation safety incidents.
At a meeting with the DGCA, the FAA team said the Indian regulator continued to sustain the actions demonstrated last year in meeting international standards for effective safety oversight of India's airline industry, she said.
The FAA concluded that India not only continued to meet FAA's IASA Category-1 status but was also considered to be a 'role model' and played a leadership role for other nations in the Asian region in the civil aviation sector.
During the discussions on Thursday, the FAA flagged following four areas for consultation, which included availability of qualified technical personnel in DGCA, technical guidance for them and resolution of safety concerns.
The FAA had for the first time in 1997 put India in the top category. In 2006 and later in March 2009, it made a reassessment and raised concerns over inadequate technical guidance for DGCA inspectors, hiring and retaining technical personnel, establishment of an ongoing surveillance programme of air operators and resolution of some safety issues.
After DGCA took steps to resolve these issues, the FAA team revisited India in September last year and granted India the top category.
The categorisation enables Indian carriers and their aircraft to fly to the US and other countries. It also helps in the export of Indian-made equipment and parts to the US for use by the aviation industry there.