Thursday, December 3, 2009

RP scores well in Icao’s audit of safety, efficiency

THE Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) was audited for overall safety and efficiency by the International Civil Aviation Organization (Icao) the last week of October and bested the global average of 40.31 with a score of 28.19. The lower the score, the less corrections are needed.

The Icao-Universal Safety Audio Program score is a percentage of a given set of 987 questions. The audit team was led by CJ Collins, who conducted the audit from October 18 to 29.

CAAP Director General Ruben Ciron said the questions are focused on critical areas such as primary legislation and civil-aviation regulations, civil-aviation organization, personnel licensing and training, aircraft operations certification and supervision, airworthiness of aircraft, aircraft accident and incident investigation, air navigation service, and aerodromes.

The Icao audit is more comprehensive than the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) audit, which covers only the safety aspects. In November 2007, the FAA downgraded the CAAP to Category 2 status from Category 1, which means Philippine carriers cannot make new flights to the United States.

The CAAP is now in the process of upgrading its technical personnel to improve its safety program and all the other critical areas noted by the new audit.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has informed the air authority, meanwhile, that Ambassador Cristina Ortega has met with James Moran, director for Asia of the European Commission (EC), to explore the availability of at least two European experts to assist it in addressing the technical issues raised by the Committee on Air Safety.

As a result of that meeting, EC experts are considering a visit to the Philippines in March 2010. In the meantime, an update of the Icao audit was sent to the EC’s director of air transport, Daniel Calleja.

“The CAAP is now on track for the next two audits —the European Union Safety Committee and the FAA—that will finally determine our eligibility for restoration to Category 1 status,” said Ciron.

A major negative finding of the audit is the lack of qualified technical personnel. The board on October 29 approved a “special plantilla of positions” to address this lack.

Ciron said it is the board’s hope that the new salary structure will attract qualified applicants, most of whom gravitate to the civil aviation sector because of higher salaries.

No comments:

Post a Comment