Nov 26, 2010
|By Neelam Mathews|
| President Obama’s visit to India has caused ripples in the civil aviation sector, with India and the U.S now expected to sign a Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) within the next 6-8 weeks.|
BASA will ensure mutual acceptance of aeronautical products and parts developed in either country, says Nasim Zaidi, who heads the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) until Dec. 1. This will mean aerospace products can be inspected and certified by DGCA and the products exported, Zaidi says. Since many U.S aeronautical products are now being designed and built in India, there is a need for international acceptance of such products.
A “shadow” certification is under development with Goodrich in India for four-seat life rafts for use in general aviation aircraft. Development of the certification article is in progress and will become a model for entities involved in the bilateral arrangement.
The U.S. already has similar safety agreements in place with Australia, China, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea.
During discussions at the India Aviation Show in Hyderabad in March, it was apparent there was a need to move ahead with BASA within a clear time-frame, an FAA representative tells Aviation Week.
Steps involved in the BASA process included upgrading skills of Indian DGCA certification experts by providing advanced training in certification procedures and oversight of design and production activities. The assessment of Indian authorities and industry capabilities to undertake certification and production work on a sustained basis to meet the FAA standards was also an essential.
Meanwhile, a new policy framework on air transport is soon to be released in India. “The industry wants to be assured of certainty in licenses, ground handling ... We need long term planning,” says Zaidi.