Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. expressed concern on the existence of fly-by-night aviation schools in the country as he said that it might affect further the Philippines’ category in international aviation organizations.
Revilla, chairman of Senate Committee on Public Services, directed the Civil Aviation of the Philippines (CAP) to strictly monitor the operation of 58 flying schools and to regularly conduct audits to ensure that they are complying with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirements.
The order was issued after Capt. Manuel Velasco, one of the CAP inspectors, confirmed that there are some aviation schools which violated the ICAO regulations in facilitating licenses for its students.
“We are trying so hard to regain category 1 status by improving our airport facilities, but we will still fail if the pilots we are producing are poorly trained,” the senator stated.
In an initial investigation conducted by the aviation agency, four flying schools — Strike Wing Aviation Training Center, National Aviation Specialist Academy, Aviation Link and Manila Aviation — were suspended because they failed to meet ICAO standards.
The CAP is also investigating some unscrupulous flying schools that allow its students to graduate for a hefty amount without meeting the required 200 hours for commercial flights.
According to CAP head Alfonso Cusi, Japan has stopped sending students here because of the alleged corrupt practices of some flying schools and training centers.
Revilla said the Philippines has so much potential in the aviation industry.
The senator noted that the global recession works to our advantage as more foreign students, especially from China, Nepal, India and the Middle East, choose to train here.
“We are able to produce fine pilots. It is in fact proven because international airlines have been pirating our pilots. We have the cheapest training schools here,” he said.