PH expects to be lifted from US air blacklist

FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines expects to be removed from a US air safety blacklist this year, opening a lucrative market for its carriers, an aviation regulator said Thursday.

John Andrews, deputy director-general of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), said he was very confident the upgrade would occur following a similar decision by the European Union last week.

“We’re going to make it. (It’s) as simple as that,” Andrews told AFP in an interview.

The US Federal Aviation Administration said in 2008 that the Philippines was failing to comply with international safety standards, and banned its airlines from expanding services to the United States.

The European Union banned all Philippine carriers from flying to Europe in 2010 for similar reasons.

Reforms put in place since then, including a law creating a new aviation regulator, the CAAP, allowed the Philippines to satisfy the concerns of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in February.

This led to the EU’s decision last week to allow Philippine Airlines to begin flying into its airspace. The EU said it was reviewing the case of other Filipino carriers.

Andrews said he expected US aviation regulators to make similar findings when it carried out an audit before the end of the year.

He said Filipino regulators had addressed safety concerns by physically tracking down every aircraft registered in the Philippines and getting their owners to submit documentation.

This was to make sure the CAAP stopped the illegal practice of cannibalizing old aircraft to supply parts for planes of the same make that were still flying, he said.

He said the CAAP also had to update records on the air-worthiness of all civilian aircraft serving Philippine airspace.

Andrews said the law that created the CAAP, also in 2008, allowed it to offer higher salaries than other government agencies to its air safety inspectors.

This was important so the inspectors, now being paid more than triple their 2008 salaries, could resist bribes to certify all aircraft as air-worthy.

Andrews said that apart from Philippine Airlines, other local carriers such as Cebu Pacific wanted to fly to the United States.

“They will all compete because it’s a rich market,” he said.

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  • desi derata

    Of all international standards in the aviation industry, the US finds itself lacking and yet blame other countries for their (US) inadequacies.
    In what specific way, the Philippine flag carrier poses danger to the US? Probably a 3rd country’s national boarding PAL airplane carrying with him a bomb to detonate on US soil.
    That is hypothetical and yet when reality is on the table, the American authorities are lazy and dismissive. It was very clear in 1995 that the Phil police informed the FBI that terrorists are planning to use local American plane to wreck havoc and destruction on American interests in American soil. With the proverbial noses in the air, the American justice and intelligence communities ignore the Operation Bojinka warning. More than 2,000 lives were lost in that day of stupidity.

    • RyanF1

      From a previous news release on Business Week: “Unqualified personnel inspect aircraft and airport facilities, inspectors accept free rides on the same airlines they are checking and airlines receive certification despite failing to meet requirements, according to a report summary made available to The Associated Press.”

      So, is the same true in the United States? If no, then how is it lacking?
      Is the report true of the Philippines? If yes, then how is it in any way “blaming other countries for their inadequacies”?

      Simpleng usapan lang iyan. ‘Wag mong linilihis ang diskusyon. Puro kayo nagbibintang ng malisyo sa mga ‘Kano, lalu ka na, eh wala namang kayong patunay.

  • Rejenal Pang

    your big master really look after U even U are not up to the standard
    what about if this happen again….and again

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