The big CAAP problem
CAAP is the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.
The CAAP is under high pressure from the European Union and the United States of America who downgraded the Philippines Air Safety to Category II.
Now the head of the CAAP downplayed the findings of a consultancy group that says the government is still unable to enforce international standards for civil aviation. The report cited poor infrastructure, aircraft checking data system, inadequate staffing, and others.
He added that only two areas out of 89 remain to be adequately resolved: computerization and personnel staffing, such as the hiring of pilots, check-pilots, and cabin crews.
But they have a real problem: The CAAP has announced that they will be hiring retired pilots to fill up the 27 positions available at the Flight Safety Inspectorate Service. Finding the right veterans could be difficult. See below:
The head of CAAP also said the retired pilots, mostly from Philippine Airlines and the Air Force, will be handling simulators but not actual airplanes.
So soon you may be confronted with such an announcement in the cabin:
The government plans to invite a team from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States by September to conduct an audit. The International Civil Aviation Organization and the EU were said to be up for invitation after the FAA audit.
The audits will conclude whether the Philippines will regain its Category 1 status, which would allow local airlines to expand operations — adding locations and frequencies of flights — in the US or Europe.
In good Pinoy manner we say: Next year – maybe.
Why do we laugh?
Because the head of CAAP added in his last sentence: “The September target for an audit may be moved, depending on the government’s preparedness!”.