How PH got off EU’s aviation blacklist

Rappler.com
After earning a bad reputation in aviation safety the Philippines sends the message it cleaned up its mess in commercial aviation.

MANILA, Philippines – After earning a bad reputation in aviation safety the Philippines sends the message it cleaned up its mess in commercial aviation.

Lala Rimando reports.


Starting July 12, the Philippines and its biggest airline are off the list of banned carriers in Europe’s skies.

GUY LEDOUX
EU AMBASSADOR TO THE PHILIPPINES
This is a tremendous achievement in such a short period of time. This decision is very encouraging and is the first success of CAAP.

In the 1990’s, Philippine carriers were barred from mounting new flights in America.
In 2008, the US Federal Aviation Authority downgraded the Philippines to category two.
And in 2010, the EU blacklisted the Philippines.

The foreign groups said the Philippines had no expertise and funds to cope with 3 major developments in aviation: the new security standards set after the 9/11 terror attacks, the rise of the budget airlines and the advent modern types of aircraft.

This led to the creation of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines in 2008.
Decades of politicking, pressure from commercial interests and the accommodation of unqualified individuals in government positions were taking its toll on airline regulation.
CAAP reaps praises for its hard work.

GUY LEDOUX
EU AMBASSADOR TO THE PHILIPPINES
Corrective actions were progressively undertaken by CAAP, particularly after the appointment of General Hotchkiss in June 2012. An assessment by ICAO in October 2012 showed improvements.

Retired General William Hotchkiss is the fourth director general since 2012.
He is also credited for telling Cebu Pacific to hold off applying to fly to Europe until it addresses safety issues found in 4 airport incidents the past year.

WILLIAM HOTCHKISS III
AVIATION INDUSTRY REGULATOR
The idea is to make Cebu Pacific safer for everybody else, not just for Europeans, but especially for Filipinos.

It’s a sweet comeback for rival Philippine Airlines which took a financial hit when it couldn’t deploy its new and expensive planes to these lucrative routes.

RAMON ANG
PHILIPPINE AIRLINES PRESIDENT
Will fly to Amsterdam, London, Paris and Rome. As you all know, we recently acquired long-range Airbus aircraft. I think we will be able to launch our first flight by September or October.

Being taken off the blacklist means the Philippines is no longer seen as an unsafe destination, a shot in the arm for tourism and national pride.

Lala Rimando, Rappler, Manila.

– Rappler.com


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