Friday, August 13, 2010

Philippine Authority Suspends FOUR Flying Schools

In a bid to bring back the integrity of the aviation industry in the country, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) suspended Thursday 4 flying schools that failed auditing standards.

In a press conference, CAAP Director General Alfonso Cusi said the regulatory office has temporarily stopped the operations of Strike Wing Aviation Training Center, National Aviation Specialist Academy, Aviation Link and Manila Aviation.

The flying schools have been halted from issuing certifications, flight time logs and other documents to students.

Cusi said the schools have been giving students excessive flying hours beyond that prescribed in the training program.

The schools’ facilities have also failed international standards, he said.

Strike Wing’s Almario Reformado asked CAAP to reinstate its license, saying the suspension would compromise the safety of its students. He said the school has been closely following CAAP regulations.

Cusi could not say how many students have been affected because of the suspensions.

The number of suspended flying schools is only a small chunk of the entire industry. Of the 51 flying schools all over the country, CAAP has only audited 10 so far.

He said the regulatory body is expected to suspend more.

“We want to regain our credibility considering that we were downgraded by the [United States Federal Aviation Administration],” he said.

The local aviation industry was downgraded to category 2 in January 2008 based on the US FAA’s International Aviation Safety Audit.

FAA said “the Philippines was no longer overseeing the safety of its airlines in accordance with the international standards and practices.”

Cusi said the agency is also running after pilots with fake licenses.

CAAP earlier initiated a nationwide auditing program after finding out that some students and private pilots are using fake licenses. CAAP had said the licenses were obtained via fabricated certificates containing “extraordinary” examination results.

Affected students mostly came from India and the Middle East, he said.

A student spends about $30,000 to achieve a certification and initial license.

This means that P20,000 to P25,000 is spent per hour of training flight. He or she would need 40 hours to become a private pilot and 230 hours to become a commercial pilot.

Posted via email from Aviation Professionals dot Org

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