Friday, December 26, 2008

More Air Traffic Controller Woes in Manila

What is interesting about this articvle are two things:

1. Air Traffic Controllers in Manila are NOT on the CAAP (ATO) Payroll .. (Is Clark the same, may explain the double standards of implementing the rules relating to VFr, etc)

2. CAAP Mandate starts in january, does his mean that the new rules come nto effect governing licensing??

Read on ...

Air traffic controllers seek fat paychecks
By Vito Barcelo

Air traffic controllers will leave their posts at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminals if they are not given a higher pay.

Naia senior controller Erlan Camarillo said at least 25 of the 52 Manila International Airport Authority employees have indicated plans of moving to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines next year if their demand would remain ignored.

MIAA general manager Alfonso Cusi said wage adjustment was a sensitive issue.

“We could not just increase the pay of our air controllers without creating a new problem for the rest of our employees,” he said. “The salaries of all government employees are governed by the Salary Standardization Law.”

Conceding his inability to stem the exodus, Cusi is appealing to Camarillo and his colleagues to weigh the possible disruption of operations at the Naia terminals.

Last March, MalacaƱang approved the law creating the Cvil Aviation Authority, replacing the Air Transportation Office.

The move was prompted by the decision of the US Federal Aviation Authority last year to downgrade the Philippines to category 2 due to “serious concerns” about the safety oversight on air carrier operations.

As in the former agency under the Transportation Department, CAAP under director general manager Ruben Cuiron operates the international airports in the cities of Laoag, Davao and Zamboanga, including a host of provincial terminals.

Camarillo and his fellow Naia controllers, who are in the MIAA payroll, claim that their salary level would be overtaken in January next year when CAAP’s mandate takes effect, exempting the new outfit from salary standardization.

The measure was meant to attract competent technical staff and training programs along with the purchase of suitable equipment meeting FAA requirements, for which reason the fiscally autonomous CAAP could retain its P3-billion revenue collection.

They noted that the lowest-paid CAAP air controllers would be receiving between P27,000 to P37,000 a month versus Naia’s P13,500.

“MIAA airport tower controllers or terminal controllers watch over all planes traveling through the airport’s airspace; their main responsibility is to organize the flow of aircraft into and out of the airport. Relying on radar and visual observation, they closely monitor all aircraft and guide pilots between the hangar or ramp and the end of the airport’s airspace,” Cusi said.

They also provide updates on flight conditions such as wind shear, a sudden change in the velocity or direction of the wind that can cause pilots to lose control of the aircraft.

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