US slaps curbs on Indian airlines for flouting global norms

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has downgraded India's aviation safety ranking from Category I to Category II, which means not only that Indian carriers cannot increase flights to the United States, but also that they face additional checks for existing flights.

The decision was reportedly conveyed to the new chief of India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Prabhat Kumar, by an FAA delegation on Thursday.

India's Category II ranking implies that the DGCA does not meet International Civil Aviation Organization standards in areas like technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping and inspection procedures.

The hardest hit by the FAA decision will be Jet Airways and 'national carrier' Air India, the only two carriers that operate flights between India and the US.

Minister of Civil Aviation Ajit Singh is expected to brief the media later today on the issue.