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The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) is confident the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will upgrade the Philippine aviation industry’s status back to Category 1 before end of the year, CAAP deputy director general Captain John Andrews said in a press conference.

FAA is scheduled to conduct a mini audit in the Philippines on November 25-26 led by FAA manager of Flight Service Department John Barbagallo and FAA area manager for Asia Pacific James Spillane.

Barbagallo, Andrews noted, recommended the downgrade to Category 2 due to safety reasons five years before.

“We are satisfied that we have complied with all the requirements that are necessary,” Andrews said. “If this (upgrade) does not happen before the end of the year, I will no longer be here.”

The FAA upgrade will open up new routes to the US and allow PAL, the only airline that currently operates in the US, to change its aircraft t more efficient models.

Andrews said safety issues no longer exist as confirmed by the European Union and the International Civil Aviation Organization.

The EU lifted the ban on flag carrier Philippine Airlines on July 12. Beginning this month, PAL restarted services to London.

Low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific Air, which is also seeking permit to fly to Europe, will have to wait until the next EU meeting in March, Andrews said.

Image courtesy of coward_lion / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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