ICAO seen to conduct air safety audit in 2017
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is scheduled to conduct an audit on the Philippines’ air safety regulations in the middle of next year, a senior government official said.
The audit is undertaken regularly and is meant to determine whether a country meets global air safety standards set by the Montreal, Canada-based specialized agency of the United Nations. Failing the ICAO inspection could lead to blacklisting by other jurisdictions, such as the European Union.
Nevertheless, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) is confident it will pass the next ICAO audit, to be conducted sometime in May 2017, CAAP deputy director general Manuel Antonio Tamayo said.
He said the country was still showing “weakness” in three out of eight audit points. These mainly involved inadequate manpower and the lack of an independent air accident investigation board. All these are already being addressed, he said.
“We are confident, and we have time to improve still,” Tamayo said. He noted that international consultants that assisted the Philippines in getting out of the EU blacklist in 2013 were being tapped to assist the CAAP.
Manpower inadequacy at the CAAP was mainly because of low pay, Tamayo said. Regulatory constraints also prevented them from immediately addressing those issues.
He was more optimistic on the timing of the separation of airline accident investigations from the CAAP into an independent body. Transportation undersecretary for aviation Roberto Lim said separately that a draft proposal for this measure would be ready for President Duterte before the end of 2016.
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