Quo vadis CAAP ?

On January 27 we reported under the title “CAAP: the Week of the Truth” about the FAA audit. An FAA team had been in Manila to conduct a technical audit on CAAP. The Philippines aviation industry hopes (hoped?) to regain Category 1 status.

For all those who are not familiar with above aviation slang: 
The Philippines lost in 2007 the Category 1 status. This reflected the aviation industry’s weak regulatory environment, which could jeopardize the safety of planes and airlines registered in the Philippines.
The FAA (the Federal Aviation Authority of the United States of America)  assigns these categories to all airlines that fly to the the United states and all countries where American airlines fly to. There is a similar organization in Europe.
The CAAP is the Philippines counter-part (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines).

The result of the audit has not yet been published. But press-releases and personal reactions make us think that the rsult had not been the expected one.

The journal.com.ph writes:  Roxas walks out of aviation meeting
Several sources told People’s Tonight that Sec. Roxas arrived at the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) building in Pasay City past 10 a.m. for the exit briefing conducted by Jacques Astre, head of the FAA technical team.

He hurriedly left “fuming mad” around 11:30 a.m. after failing to get any clarification from the mission and CAAP officials headed by director general Ramon S. Gutierrez as to when the country would be able to regain its Category 1 status.

“Sec. Mar bawled out the CAAP officials, saying they failed to prepare the country for the FAA review; they (CAAP officials) hurried out to probably convince him to come back but he was gone,” the sources said.

The business.inquirer.net writes: Fate of aviation industry hangs in balance
Among the lapses noted by the 2008 audit were the lack of qualified personnel and massive corruption at the now-defunct Air Transportation Office (ATO). The ATO was reorganized as the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), an agency given fiscal autonomy and independence to insulate it from changes in political winds.

Roxas, a former senator who was appointed to his current post by President Aquino last July, said that based on the findings of the technical assessment, the government would be able to decide on whether or not to invite the FAA back for the full audit. “It’s our decision to invite them back,” Roxas said.

What makes us think that the result had not been the expected one – return to Category 1 – is the reaction of former Senator Mar Roxas and his statement:  “It’s our decision to invite them back”.

We shall see! In about 2 week’s time the audit report should be published or at least the result.

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