MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The government announced that it has penalized two pilots of Asiana Airlines subsidiary Air Busan for violating Philippine aviation rules.
In a statement on Tuesday, July 23, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) said that based on its panel’s investigation, the two unnamed pilots of the South Korean airline deviated from their flight path, a violation referred to as “busting altitude.”
Without authorization, the pilots changed their altitude while over Philippine airspace, which would have brought them in conflict with a Cebu Pacific airplane that was already cruising at that altitude.
The two were slapped with a US$1,500.00 fine each for the incident that occured on October 6, 2012. The plane departed from Cebu and was on its way to South Korea.
The announcement of penalties followed a hearing at the Caap headquarters on May 13, 2013 where the pilots admitted having ignored the air controllers’ instructions to stay at 31,000 feet altitude while they were climbing towards 35,000.
At the Caap hearing, the pilots said they “misunderstood” the air controller’s instruction. They were already at 33,000 feet when they obeyed the order to descend back to 31,000 feet.
The penalties were recommended by the Flight Operations Department Safety Inspectors Rizal Ventura and Alfredo Juliano who had pored over the evidence gathered by their investigating committee.
“Records from Flight Operations Safety (FOD) reveals that two more South Korean carrier is being investigated for various violations on Philippine civil aviation regulations,” the CAAP added. It did not add other details.
Earlier, CAAP officials said they are investigating South Korean airlines’ operations in the Philippines after an aircraft of Asiana Airlines crashed at the San Francisco International Airport on July 6.
Air Busan Co., Ltd. is a regional airline based in Busan, South Korea. It is a subsidiary of and has code-sharing operations with Asiana Airlines.
Asiana Airlines flies to the Philippines through hubs in Manila, Clark and Cebu, helping bring in over one million, or about one-fourth, of the over 4.27 million tourists that visited the Philippines in 2012. – Rappler.com
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