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Gov’t vows to strengthen compliance with aviation safety standards

Aurea Calica - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The government will work hard to strengthen the country’s compliance with international aviation safety standards and to maintain its Category 1 status given by the US Federal Aviation Administration.

William Hotchkiss III, chief of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), said FAA would regularly review the country’s compliance with standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in the next two years.

On Thursday, the local aviation industry regained its Category 1 status six years after it was downgraded to Category 2 due to safety concerns.

The FAA upgrade will allow the country’s carriers, particularly Philippine Airlines (PAL), to fly to more destinations in the US.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the government would see to it that no significant safety concerns would ever again be raised against the Philippines.

Valte said this development would greatly benefit passengers, as airline companies will have more flights and new destinations.

She said the Department of Transportation and Communications, in cooperation with the CAAP and different government agencies, are upgrading airport facilities and other local infrastructure to entice more tourists.

The Palace earlier lauded the DOTC and the CAAP for working hard to correct the lapses and inaction of the past that led to the downgrade.

The European Union earlier lifted the ban it imposed on Cebu Pacific Airlines (CebuPac), allowing it to fly to Europe.

In 2010, the EU banned Philippine carriers from flying to Europe after the ICAO raised some significant safety concerns against the local aviation industry.

In March 2013, ICAO lifted the said safety concerns, prompting the EU to lift the ban it imposed on PAL in that year.

 

ABIGAIL VALTE

CEBU PACIFIC AIRLINES

CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY OF THE PHILIPPINES

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS

EUROPEAN UNION

FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION

IN MARCH

INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION ORGANIZATION

ON THURSDAY

PHILIPPINE AIRLINES

WILLIAM HOTCHKISS

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