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US plays dirty, downgrades India’s air safety ranking

US aviation authorities have downgraded India’s safety ranking in a ‘disappointing’ and ‘surprising’ move that will hit air links between the countries, Union aviation minister Ajit Singh said on Friday. The US Federal Aviation Administration downgraded India after conducting an audit last year of the country’s aviation regulator that found 31 issues of safety concern, a ministry statement said.

The issues include the need for more and better trained full-time inspectors employed by the regulator tasked with carrying out safety checks on India’s aircraft and helicopters, the statement said. ‘They have downgraded us to category 2. It is very disappointing and also surprising,’ aviation minister Ajit Singh said at a press conference in New Delhi.
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