New round of air talks with Japan, S. Korea eyed | Inquirer Business

New round of air talks with Japan, S. Korea eyed

/ 09:31 PM August 04, 2013

The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) is starting a new round of air talks with its counterparts in Japan and South Korea as it is confident that discussions with these countries can resume given the positive developments in the Philippine aviation sector.

CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla said earlier talks were stalled due to the downgrading of the country’s air safety rating  by US and European air regulators.

In March, however, the Philippines was removed from the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (Icao) list of countries with significant safety concerns. This was followed by the selective lifting of the European Union (EU) ban last month.


“We are still preparing the letter proposals to Japan and Korea for the holding of the talks,” Arcilla said in a text message.  “Things look brighter. We are confident we can get their positive responses.”


Arcilla said the idea was to start these talks “as soon as possible.”

CAB deputy executive director Porvenir Porciuncula said the Philippines last held air talks with Japan in 2009 and with South Korea in 2012.

Both countries have since rejected requests for fresh discussions.  Because air talks were unable to continue, the expansion to Japan and South Korea by local carriers had been stifled.

Domestic carriers Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific presently have flights to Japan. The two airlines and Zest Air also fly to South Korea.

“We are positive because we are now overcoming and we expect to fully overcome these obstacles,” Arcilla said.

With the Icao and EU ban issues out of the way, the country can now focus on the last remaining issue, the category 2 status given by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).


The FAA downgraded the Philippines in 2008, after the country failed an assessment by FAA inspectors a year before.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) believes that the category 1 status could be restored within the year or as early as November.

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FAA inspectors were in the country last month to conduct an assessment and CAAP officials expected the visit to yield positive results.

TAGS: aviation, Business, Carmelo Arcilla, Cebu Pacific, Civil Aeronautics Board, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, economy, Japan, Korea, News, Philippine Airlines, US Federal Aviation Administration, Zest Air

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