ICAO says PH now meets int’l aviation safety standards


MANILA, Philippines—The International Civil Aviation Organization has officially taken the Philippines off its list of countries with unresolved Significant Safety Concerns (SSCs).

The Department of Transportation and Communications said the ICAO Council in a March 7 electronic bulletin said the country implemented corrective actions in accordance with the mechanism approved by the Council to resolve two SSCs – the issuance of air operator certificates and the aircraft registration process.

“And… as a result, these SSCs have been lifted,” the ICAO bulletin said.

The DOTC said the ICAO’s own public statement had major implications for the Philippine economy. “It not only strengthens our efforts to meet international safety standards for the aviation sector, it also boosts the government’s tourism goals,” the DOTC said in a statement.

The Department of Tourism has set a target of attracting 10 million foreign tourists to the Philippines by 2016—more than triple the three million tourists that came to the Philippines during the first year of President Aquino’s term in 2010.

The resolution to remove the country from ICAO’s list of countries with unresolved SSCs followed the exit briefing held between the ICAO’s Coordinated Validation Missions (ICVM) Team and officials of the CAAP and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) on February 202.

“The ICVM Team expressed great satisfaction with CAAP’s efforts to comply with international safety standards,” the DOTC said.

After the exit briefing, the ICAO ICVM team recommended to the ICAO Headquarters in Montreal, Canada, the lifting of the SSCs it previously raised with respect to the Philippines.

“This development provides more motivation for CAAP to continue on the long road toward achieving Category 1 status and lifting the European Union ban on Philippine flights,” added the DOTC.

An original 89 items were tagged as SSCs by the ICAO when the country first failed its audit. Other countries cited with deficiencies in the 2010 report were Angola, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Djibouti, Kazakhstan, Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia.

The country’s successful passing of the audit is expected to result in the lifting of the European Union’s ban on Philippine carriers from entering European air space.

In 2007, the Philippines also failed an audit by the US Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA downgraded the country to “category 2″ status, preventing local airlines from expanding operations in the US.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio “Jun” Abaya earlier said the FAA may conduct its own separate audit but also has the option of adopting the ICAO’s findings.

This could lead to an upgrade to Category 1 status, opening up the US market to local carriers. Currently, the only local carrier with flights to the US is Philippine Airlines.

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  • julieboy

    Congratulation to CAAP for the success.Hopefully the FAA adopt the same on ICAO recommendations and get the country back to CAT.1 asap.This will be very good for the country and for the aviation industry as a whole. Keep up the good work CAAP and maintain that standard for the world to see that we can do it.

  • superpilipinas

    Philippines is still in Category 2 Status in the US.

    I think it is not because of safety. It is because of lobbying by US airlines and protectionism of US government. US airlines will never be competetive. They have huge overhead costs because of high pay for their employees and maintenance costs in the US. 

    Since now we have EU airlines flying in, we can use it as leverage to deal with US:

    Since tourism earnings will grow, taxes from tourism related companies should be allocated to pay for PAL taxes and fees to the government. That would enable PAL to offer very low fares that would grab a big share of the market from US carriers. If US complains of unfair protectionism then we demand for Category 1 rating and to allow Cebu Pacific to service US, at least Guam, Hawaii, and LA.

    • Michael A

      parang masaya nga ang may CebuPac papunta nang Hawaii. Kumpitensiyahin ang Hawaiian Air. Pero sana pag may CebuPac papuntang Hawaii mas malaki ang serving nang pagkain.

    • foreignerph

      Geez, apart from a super-nationalist, you’re an aviation expert too? Let me tell you this fellow, if tourism is taxed more to subsidize PAL in its foreign operations thus undercutting a fair open market based on price only, the fun will soon be over. Speaking of protectionism, the PH is super-protectionist in aviation (and not only there), closing its domestic market for foreign carriers, driving up prices for domestic customers – and the discriminatory tax for long haul foreign airlines only, that made KLM stop its PH operations.

      Flag carriers are since long outdated, making flying cheaper for everyone, except in the PH. More choices are intended to drive down prices, not to soothe some nationalist feelings.

  • Jude Fawley

    Half-baked success is no success. Call it success if we are put back into category 1 status.

  • oh_noh

    nakuha ang compliance sa “roxas boulevard” :P


    Great job PNoy!

  • titolim

    makuha din natin ang C1 sa U.S pag omorder na ang PAL ng Boeing mahigit 50 various aircraft kita nyo nag order mahigit 50 sa Airbus ang PAL biglang pumasa sa SSC.

  • mark1205

    The greatest thing missing though is the capacity of NAIA’s single runway that cannot accommodate simultaneous landings and takeoff. If this upgrading is to be optimized, the government better decide on a BIGGER AIRPORT WITH MORE RUNWAYS. Its gonna be either Clark or that which PAL proposes wherever it may be.

  • Angel

    The reason our aviation system was a mess can be traced back to GMA. She appointed unqualified people to fill critical posts in the aviation sector for the sake of political expidiency.  And these same unqualified people hired their relatives to fill in critical posts just so they can draw huge salaries from the government. Most of them probably don’t even know the difference of a rudder from an aileron.

    • KpTUL

      Have you heard that a new election commissioner was appointed recently ? The same commissioner was booted out by the the HRET coz of election violation offenses ? Since this Lanto guy pretty much knows the “ins” and “outs” of election like knowing the difference between a rudder and an aileron, he would be the best fit right ?

       I dont even know what HRET means but Im sure this is the same practice that can be traced back to GMA as well. I guess PNoy had a blueprint to follow.

  • i_am_filipino


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