Transport Airlines

Singapore Follows FAA Downgrade of Indian Aviation With Increased Inspections

Feb 05, 2014 2:00 pm

Singapore’s aviation regulator increased inspection of Indian aircraft after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration cut the South Asian nation’s airline- safety ranking.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore has stepped up ramp inspections on Indian carriers’ aircraft operating in the city state, the regulator said in an e-mailed statement today. The authority hasn’t imposed any restrictions on Indian carriers, it said.

The FAA last week downgraded India’s ranking to Category 2 from Category 1, putting it on a par with Zimbabwe and Indonesia, after a review of the country’s aviation regulator revealed that its safety oversight processes don’t meet global standards. Indian authorities will hire 75 flight operation inspectors and provide training to more people to win back the rating, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said Jan. 31.

“The frequency of ramp inspections is dependent on CAAS’ assessment of the carrier,” the regulator said. “Any major findings of deficiency found in the ramp inspections have to be addressed by the carrier for it to continue operations in Singapore.”

Increasing scrutiny of planes at overseas airports could affect airlines’ schedules, Kapil Kaul, the South Asia head at CAPA Centre for Aviation, said after the FAA move. That may also affect foreign passengers’ safety perception, he said.

Jet, IndiGo

Shares of Jet Airways (India) Ltd. fell 2.1 percent to close at 211.75 rupees in Mumbai trading after the Singapore authority issued its statement. United Airlines said after the FAA downgrade that it will suspend a marketing agreement with Mumbai-based Jet.

Ragini Chopra, a spokeswoman for Jet Airways, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail, while G.P. Rao, a spokesman for Air India, could not be reached on his mobile phone.

IndiGo, India’s largest carrier by market share, does not see any impact from increased scrutiny of its aircraft, President Aditya Ghosh said in an e-mailed response to questions. The carrier will cooperate with any safety inspection requirements, he said.

The FAA rating downgrade locks Indian carriers from starting new service to the U.S. and opens up their planes for additional inspections there.

Editors: Vipin V. Nair, Subramaniam Sharma. To contact the reporter on this story: Jasmine Ng in Singapore at jng299@bloomberg.net. To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anand Krishnamoorthy at anandk@bloomberg.net. 

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