The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration upgraded India’s safety ranking, a year after the rating was cut, following India’s corrective action to address shortcomings, the U.S. government said in an e-mailed statement.
The FAA upgraded India’s rating to Category 1 from Category 2, according to the statement on Wednesday from the U.S. Embassy in Delhi. An FAA team visited India last month after reviewing India’s aviation regulator in December, according to the statement.
“The United States Government commends the Government of India for taking corrective action to address the safety oversight issues,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in the statement.
The upgrade, which removes India from a ranking it shared with Zimbabwe and Indonesia, means Indian airlines can expand their service to the U.S. and enter into code-share agreements with U.S. carriers. State-owned Air India Ltd. and Jet Airways (India) Ltd. are the only two Indian airlines that currently offer service to the U.S.
The FAA cut India to Category 2 in January 2014 after it found there weren’t enough officials to ensure the safe operation of flights. On Tuesday, Indian Aviation Secretary V. Somasundaran said the agency in charge of ensuring security at Indian airports is “badly understaffed,” with just one or two people manning offices in some regional airports.
With assistance from Anurag Kotoky in New Delhi.
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