US, EU ban on Philippine carriers seen to be lifted

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - The government is confident that Philippine airlines, whose operations in the United States and Europe are now restricted, will be able to expand in those countries next year, citing significant progress in domestic aviation safety.

In its most recent assessment on the Philippines, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) said it recognized steps taken by the Aquino administration to conform with global air travel best practices.

"There was a validating mission by the ICAO. The purpose was to check on our progress. I heard a lot of positive adjectives being used, but we still have lots to do," Transportation Secretary Jose Emilio "Jun" Abaya said.

In 2010, the ICAO raised several "significant safety concerns" over the Philippine aviation sector, in particular, the poor state of the industry's regulatory environment.

The European Union used ICAO's findings as basis to ban Philippine carriers from operating in the continent. Philippine airliners were also barred from entering the continent's airspace.

Out of the ICAO's original 89 points of concern, Abaya said only two remained unaddressed. These involve the registration of aviation companies and regulations covering the training of pilots and other industry personnel.

Also cited by the ICAO report were countries like Angola, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Djibouti, Kazakhstan, Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia.

In 2007, the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) lowered the status of Philippine carriers to "category 2 and effectively imposed restrictions on the operations of local airliners. The FAA cited the Philippine government's poor oversight capabilities, and banned local airlines from expanding operations in the United States.

As a result, flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is not allowed to fly to other destinations apart from San Francisco and Los Angeles. Speaking to reporters, Abaya said the ICAO had agreed to help the Philippines address the two remaining concerns, in time for the scheduled final audit in February.

"We have the tools and policies, we just have to show that we can implement it," Abaya said.

"They committed to have a person from ICAO to hand-hold us until February," Abaya said. "What we can realistically expect from ICAO is that they will remove the SCCs.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Island Hopping in Honda Bay Gael Hilotin - Pinay Solo Backpacker
    Island Hopping in Honda Bay

    Puerto Princesa has long been a magnet of sun-worshippers and pleasure seekers. Gratefully, despite the crowd it brings, it has managed to preserve its splendor over the years. Resting on the eastern coast of the green city is Honday Bay, … Continue reading → …

  • Rising number of trafficked fishermen alarms Tawi-Tawi authorities VERA Files - The Inbox
    Rising number of trafficked fishermen alarms Tawi-Tawi authorities

    By Jake Soriano, VERA Files Bongao, Tawi-Tawi—Tawi-Tawi authorities are alarmed at the growing number of fishermen from the Visayas who end up here after being recruited by human trafficking syndicates to engage in dangerous compressor diving. The latest case involves … Continue reading → …

  • The return of Gigi Reyes Ellen Tordesillas, Contributor - The Inbox
    The return of Gigi Reyes

    By Ellen T.Tordesillas This is going to be fascinating. Atty. Gigi Reyes, former chief of staff of Sen. Juan Ponce-Enrile who is included among those accused of plunder in connection with the misuse of Priority Development Assistance Fund, came back … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options