THE CIVIL Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has progressed in its efforts to persuade the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to upgrade the nation’s aviation safety rating.
Following last month’s technical review by FAA officials in Manila, CAAP director Mon Gutierrez said the eighty-eight 'significant findings' discovered during the FAA pre-audit in January had since been cut down to two.
CAAP is currently acting on FAA requests to develop a new technical training programme based on recognised international aviation standards. It will also facilitate a revalidation process of Philippine carriers flying international routes. It will apply for a new FAA audit once these requirements are met.
The Philippine government is intent on regaining Category 1 status with the FAA, which downgraded the country’s aviation industry to Category 2 in December 2007.
Meanwhile, Gutierrez said CAAP was working to address the "significant safety concerns" that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) raised during their last visit, such as “the lack of (qualified) technical personnel," noting that the concerns echoed those of the European Union when it imposed a blanket ban on Philippine carriers in April 2010.
ICAO officers are scheduled to visit Manila for an airline compliance inspection in July-August.
Aileen Clemente, president, Philippine Travel Agencies Association, said: "CAAP is fast-tracking the (reinstatement) process with support from the government. We will be over the hump very soon – they know what needs to be done."