CAAP aviation systems audit postponed
In Nov. 2007 the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) downgraded the Philippines to Category-II in air safety and security. This banned Philippine’s airlines from creating new or develop old services to the USA, among other sanctions.
The rating came four months after the FAA review of the Philippine’s Air Transport Office: Category II. (period)
The Philippines became the 20th country in the world to be placed in Category II rating.
In response the Philippine government rushed creation in Mar. 2008 of a fiscally autonomous Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP). Like a corporation it has a seven-man board, six of them Cabinet secretaries. Meanwhile President Aquino has sworn into office Ramon Gutierrez as Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).
Since then, however, the Category-II grade has not improved to I. Worse, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has issued its own bad review. Clustering the Philippines with such backward or failing states like Angola, Bangladesh, Congo, Djibouti, Kazakhstan, Rwanda and Zambia, the United Nations agency said CAAP has “significant safety concerns.”
And worse, the European Union put all Philippine’s air-carriers on a blacklist not allowing them to fly to any European destination.
The Philippines will have to wait a little longer to take a shot at regaining Category I status with the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) after the postponement of the aviation systems audit supposed to be conducted today. The CAAP was requesting for the audit to be moved to January 27, 2012 instead of December 5, 2011.
The postponement was done upon the request of the Tim Neel & Associates (TNA), a US aviation systems expert hired by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), after reportedly finding the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) not ready for the strict and highly technical US FAA audit.
The postponement will be a big problem to already endangered local carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL). They had ordered new wide-body aircrafts for long haul flights several years ago and were about to accept delivery of the airplanes, expected to be used for new routes to the US from their current flights into San Francisco and Los Angeles. This is not possible under Category-II.