US aviation agency to do own audit of PH


The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has chosen to conduct its own audit on the Philippines, ignoring the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) recent lifting of “significant safety concerns” (SSC) on the country.

Transportation Undersecretary Catherine Gonzales on Wednesday disclosed that administration officials were in discussions with the FAA on a possible audit later this year.

This comes after a recent ICAO audit that found the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), the local industry’s chief regulator, in compliance with international safety norms.

“The audit will be for the lifting of our category 2 status,” Gonzales told reporters. The country’s current category 2 status with the FAA prevents local airlines from starting flights to the United States.

Those already operating in the US are also banned from expanding operations or even using different aircraft than those already in use in 2007 when the country received its downgrade.

“We are very hopeful that we can pass,” Gonzales said, citing again the country’s recent success with the ICAO audit. The ICAO audit was used by the European Aviation Safety Agency (Easa) to put the country’s airlines on a blacklist of carriers barred from mounting flights to the European Union (EU).

Local airlines were also banned from entering EU airspace. The DOTC expects the Easa to remove local airlines from the blacklist following the ICAO audit.

The DOTC has also previously hoped that the FAA would also adopt the findings of the ICAO, which is an agency attached to the United Nations. The FAA downgrade of the Philippines was handed down two years before the EU ban.

The lifting of the EU and US bans will pave the way for the more aggressive expansion of local airlines, particularly flag carrier Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. Both have announced plans to strengthen long-haul operations starting this year.

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  • glycerlean

    Boeing jets kasi ang orderin ng PAL at Cebu Pac, its all about the money and politics! un lang un!

  • Kronos2

    Let’s use all of PAL’s 747 for Manila Cebu flights and divide the frequency of flights by two. Tingnan nyo kung di dumami ang sasakay para maka experience man lang sumakay ng 747.

    • foreignerph

      Short flights like these wear out an airplane very quickly by metal fatigue. Every time the plane goes up the fuselage expands and every time it comes down it contracts again by maintaining the air pressure inside. To put it simply, a plane doesn’t wear out by flying distances at the same (high) altitude but by take-off/landing cycles.

      I’m not an aviation expert but my guess is that a long haul plane like the 747 is more susceptible to this effect than a short haul plane like an A320. Hence, it will be more costly to operate a 747 per passenger than a 320 on short hauls.

  • Kronos2

    Why do we always have to suck up with American standards when all of the security impositions they require is due to their own insecure paranoia. So what if we fail their standards? The US is not the only market where our airlines can profit. If we are not allowed to have commercial flights go to the US, we can start looking for other closer countries where we can have more flights and fly more passengers to be profitable?

    • Tj Fisher

      Because when you do business internationally you play by that country rules and regs. You want to expand you business in the US you comply to their air standards.

    • dodong1

      go ahead no one stopping you to venture out to other markets besides from the United States, the only thing they want is to comply with their air safety standards…

    • T

      Aviation safety isn’t an area where I would start getting cocky and patriotic. Just better comply with it like ummm the rest of the world does.

    • William James Escutin

      I am wondering why many American airports are found in the list of worst airports in the world if they are that strict…hmmmmmm….

  • superpilipinas

    Bagsak tayo diyan! Wanna bet?

    Ang sasabihin nila may “safety issues” pero ang totoo niyan, gusto nila monopolized ng US carriers. At this time pa na tagilid ang profitability nila.

    Para may panlaban tayo sa negosasyon, kung merong order ang PAL o Cebu Pacific sa Boeing, dapat ipitin ng gubyerno at paboran ang Airbus, hanggat ayaw nila tayong bigyan ng approval.

    • Alfa Saclao

      lagi naman… hindi na sila nagbago noon paman…dapat kung may gusto silang sabihin sa goberno natin, sabihin nila ng diretsu, hindi yung sa kung ano anong paikot ikot pa. papag huhulain pa tayo… wala nman tinatago ang goberno natin sa kanila. kakasawa tuloy basahin news about sa kanila.

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