MANILA, Philippines—Philippine airlines were banned from flying to Europe in 2010 due to concerns over the enforcement of aviation safety rules by the country’s regulators.
In its 2010 report, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a regulatory body under the United Nations, raised several “significant safety concerns” involving the Philippine aviation industry, in particular, the poor state of regulation.
The European Aviation Safety Agency used ICAO’s negative findings to bar Philippine airlines’ flights to Europe.
The Philippine government has since worked on improving aviation safety.
In April 2011, it enlisted the aid of Brig. Gen. Tim Neel, a former United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and owner and managing director of US-based aviation consultant Tim Neel & Associates LLC.
In 2007, the Philippines was also downgraded by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to “Category 2” status, which meant Philippine carriers were banned from expanding operations in the United States.
The FAA’s downgrade of the Philippines prompted reforms that led to the dissolution of the Air Transportation Office, which was replaced by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).
In March, ICAO officially removed the Philippines from its list of member states with unresolved significant safety concerns.
According to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), the ICAO Council in its March 7 electronic bulletin said the Philippines had implemented corrective measures in accordance with the mechanism approved by the council to resolve two significant safety concerns—the issuance of air operator certificates and the aircraft registration process.
The removal of the Philippines from ICAO’s list follows the exit briefing held between world body’s inspection team and officials of the CAAP and the DOTC in February.—Inquirer Research
Sources: Inquirer Archives