The US India Business Council has welcomed the signing of an aviation safety agreement between the two nations, noting that it will pave the way for greater bilateral trade in the sector.
"India-US Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) will improve passenger safety and therefore caps the success of the 2005 Open Skies Agreement, which opens more routes, includes more airlines, and greatly improves the ability for companies to engage in commerce between the US and India," USIBC chief Ron Somers said.
Coinciding with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to India for the second round of the US-India Strategic Dialogue, J Randolph Babbitt, Administrator of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Nasim Zaidi, Civil Aviation Secretary, signed the agreement on July 18.
"This accord creates a safer, more positive environment for travel, resulting in a win-win situation for both economies," Somers said. USIBC said it believed that a BASA between both countries would help India upgrade its technology to world-class standards and harmonise its regulatory and monitoring systems with international best practices.
BASA demonstrates that India has the capacity to develop FAA certifiable aircraft articles and appliances, USIBC said.
"The BASA, by providing a framework under which we can develop reciprocal acceptances of certain aviation articles, stands to promote the burgeoning civil aviation partnership emerging between our two countries," noted Administrator Babbit at the USIBC's roundtable discussion on 'Building 21st Century Infrastructure,' held on July 19 in New Delhi.
BASA allows aviation authorities such as the FAA and the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DCGA) to certify aeronautical products and systems to be introduced in American and Indian markets, respectively, USIBC said.
The agreement also reduces maintenance, repair, and operation (MRO) costs associated with compliance and foreign certification approval processes.
This cost reduction will directly benefit passengers and industry alike, it hoped. The signing of BASA comes after an FAA team visited DCGA headquarters in New Delhi and performed a complete technical assessment and shadow certification procedure.
They selected the Goodrich life raft which was designed, sourced, and built at the Goodrich facility in Bengaluru under the oversight of the DGCA. Goodrich's manufacturing and design center in Bengaluru is also a Tier-1 supplier to Boeing, assembling observer seats and manufacturing evacuation systems for a large portion of Boeing aircraft. Both Goodrich and Boeing are USIBC member companies.
USIBC said BASA enhances the case for further investment in the civil aviation industry and has far reaching implications for both Indian and US industry.
The next stage for both governments is to sign the Implementation Procedures for Airworthiness (IPA) which will provide for airworthiness technical cooperation between FAA and its counterpart in India, USIBC said.
The IPA provides guidelines related to specific activities such as approvals for design, repair data, production and export airworthiness as well as post design activities, it added.