India’s airlines will suffer from US safety sanctions and reputational damage following its failing an American FAA audit of its aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

As this report explains, its demotion from a level 1 to level 2 safety rating means means that India’s civil aviation authority does not comply with International Civil Aviation Organization standards and is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel and record-keeping or inspection procedures.

India’s flag carrier cannot increased their flights to the US, their code shares with American carriers are broken, and they are subject to enhanced scrutiny at American airports.

Australia has in the past failed FAA audits but survived downgrading by diplomatic intervention.

This may not be enough for Australia to avoid suffering a similar fate to India, mainly because of the gross failures of integrity and competency displayed by CASA and the ATSB in relation to the failed oversight of of Pel-Air’s aerial ambulance work with Westwind corporate jets before and at the time of the crash of such a flight near Norfolk Island  in 2009, and the appallingly flawed crash report that was exposed by a Senate inquiry that the new Minister for Transport has yet to respond to.

The consequences for Qantas and Virgin Australia of such US sanctions on their American code-shares and services would be costly and serious. While some argue that such an outcome is unlikely, the FAA’s sanctioning in the past of Israel and now India makes it possible.

Pel-Air is a scandal that keeps on stinking, as does the failure of CASA to do anything material to fix the rules that applied to the fuel and flight planning of such missions for more than four years, even thought it has admitted that changes need to be made.

If very decisive action isn’t taken over deficient or ineffective public administration of air safety standards and operator oversight in this country, Australia will-get-busted, just like Israel and now India.

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