Home » Aviation » Aviation industry upgrade likely this year: ICAO

INTERNATIONAL Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) president Roberto Kobeh Gonzales said the Philippine aviation industry may revert to Category I status this year following the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines’ (CAAP) compliance with most key safety concerns raised by the European Union (EU).

CAAP earlier said it has addressed 77 out of the 89 significant safety concerns of the EU. A corrective action plan was also submitted in August which EU found to be “generally fully satisfactory”.

The unaddressed issues have to do mostly with employment of skilled staff experienced in the aviation sector who will conduct oversight functions on airline companies. To address this concern, CAAP said it is open to the outsourcing of potential inspectors.

ICAO, according to Gonzales, is also willing to provide free training to 26 CAAP officers who will serve as technical inspectors. They will regularly assess airworthiness of aircraft, make cabin and route checks, monitor flight operations, and help CAAP ensure airports meet international standards.

Some Philippine air carriers were blacklisted by the EU due to the former Air Transportation Office’s failure to conduct oversight functions.

The US Federal Aviation Authority and the ICAO downgraded the aviation sector’s status from Category II to Category I due to safety concerns.

The downgrade has placed the country in the league of Angola, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Congo, Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, Kazakhstan, Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia.

The downgrade also stalled plans of Philippine Airlines to expand its US operations.

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