MANILA, Philippines – The government is preparing for the upcoming safety audit of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on its peer agency in the Philippines for the lifting of the regulatory limits on local airlines’ US operations.
Transportation Undersecretary Catherine Gonzales said that the government is in talks with the FAA for a possible audit this 2013 of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines’ (CAAP) ability to implement global safety standards on air carrier operations.
The audit of the FAA is the next step in the process required to lift the Category 2 status imposed in 2008. Just last March 4, the CAAP passed the global safety audit of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a United Nations aviation body.
“We are very hopeful that we can pass [the FAA audit],” she told reporters during an interview on the sidelines the annual convention of the Chamber of Thrift Banks on Wednesday, March 20,
The country’s Category 2 status prohibits local carriers from mounting new and additional flights in the US, one of the most lucrative routes. Airlines in Category 2 countries are also subject to heightened FAA surveillance.
The CAAP has also asked Japan and South Korea to remove restrictions imposed on local airlines.
The two countries had earlier blocked the entry of new flights from the Philippines, citing safety concerns due to country’s Category 2 status.
Gonzales added that preparations for a possible FAA audit would coincide with the development of several airports around the country and the rehabilitation of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). – Rappler.com
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