PAL seeks separate FAA assessment
Flag carrier Philippine Airlines believes it should be assessed separately by the US Federal Government to enable the airline to prove that it complies with international standards for safe air travel, even if the Philippine government does not.
PAL president Jaime J. Bautista, in a recent interview, expressed doubts that the government had done enough to convince the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to lift its “category 2” status on the Philippines.
The “category 2” status indicates failure to comply with strict international air safety standards. The low grade keeps all airlines in the Philippines from expanding operations in the United States, despite a standing “open skies” treaty between the two allies.
“But as far as PAL is concerned, we are in compliance and we are able to satisfy all requirements for airlines with operations in the US,” Bautista said.
“I think the FAA should adopt a policy wherein even if an entire country is blacklisted, selected carriers can still be allowed to fly as long as they are able to comply with all safety standards,” he said.
Bautista said the airline was more than willing to subject itself to the FAA’s scrutiny to prove its capability to mount flights to the US.—Paolo G. Montecillo
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