There is no move by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to downgrade India's airports, even though an action plan was being implemented to meet global aviation safety standards and regulations.
"The FAA has not reached any decision to downgrade India to Category-2 countries (in terms of global standards). We are continuing our discussions as part of the agreement between India and the United States for development and modernisation of our civil aviation infrastructure," Civil Aviation Ministry sources said here.
The agreement, signed in November 2006, entailed that experts from both sides would work together on issues ranging from air traffic control training and procedures to aviation safety standards and regulations.
The agreement had come at a time when India became the second after China in terms of the fast-paced aviation traffic growth which was projected to maintain the pace of more than 25 per cent over the next four years. The massive growth in air traffic, both in passenger and aircraft numbers, had far outpaced the aviation infrastructure and skilled manpower availability, prompting India to get international help to meet global safety and security standards.
The FAA, after auditing various aspects of Indian regulatory system and infrastructure, had made a large number of recommendations, both short and long term, including strengthening of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
The sources said three groups of experts were being set up with the help of the UN body, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), to monitor and work on speedy modernisation of airports, flight safety and navigation and surveillance.