MANILA, Philippines – After its successful bid to lift the European Union ban on Philippine Airlines (PAL), Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) should now act immediately to lift the Japanese and Korean flight restrictions on Philippine carriers, a senator said on Thursday.
The air restrictions prevented Cebu Pacific and the Philippine Airlines to expand air operations in Japan and South Korea.
While the lifting of the EU ban was laudable and “heartening,” the CAAP should be more “aggressive” to lift the restrictions on two other countries, said Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., chairman of the Senate committee on public services and joint congressional oversight committee on the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (COCAAP).
“The next most immediate goal is to totally lift the EU ban, and the lifting of the Japanese and Korean restrictions,” Revilla said.
“While there have been no formal responses from both countries regarding our requests to have the restrictions lifted, they have remained bullheaded and refused to act,” he said.
The challenge for CAAP, Revilla said, was to “continue the momentum.”
“Our work is far from finished. But after five years, it is heartening to see positive results. We must be more aggressive,” said the senator.
The restrictions came after the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) downgraded the Philippines from Category 1 to Category 2 in 2007.
FAA Category 2 status, Revilla said, prevented the expansion and addition of flights to the United States, while the EU restrictions banned PAL from entering its airspace.
Both, he said, were due to the Philippines’ non-compliance with international safety standards.