Aviation experts from the European Union are arriving today to assess the performance of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines while a team from the International Civil Aviation Authority would do a follow-up with a “technical audit” in December.
“The audit will confirm that the concerted efforts, sacrifices and resources that we made are on the right track towards professionalism and solid foundation of the Authority,” CAAP Director General Alfonso Cusi said.
The experts from Europe are from the European Commission and the European Aviation Safety Agency.
Cusi, in a press conference last week, said the EU experts are visiting, “specifically to assess the progress achieved by the CAAP in addressing the Corrective Action Plan identified by the ICAO, the US Federal Aviation Administration and the EASA.”
Following their assessment last year, the EU blacklisted Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific from entering European airspace.
Cusi said other areas they would look into are the ability of the Philippines to ensure the effective oversight of all or part of the air carriers under its supervision, and to assess the resources and competence of certain air operators certified by the CAAP.
Although the two air carriers do not have flights to Europe, a subsequent announcement by the EU prohibits their citizens from using Philippine air carriers until the CAAP had shown that is has complied with the “significant safety concerns” found during an earlier assessment.
The ICAO technical audit, meanwhile, will focus on the areas of legislation, organization, personnel licensing, aircraft operations, airworthiness and the SSC.
Cusi is confident that after the visit, PAL and CEB would be removed from the EU blacklist by December this year.
“The ICAO will validate the status of the implementation of th e Corrective Action Plans that were previously submitted to have fully addressed the respective protocol questions identified in the findings,” he added.
The Department of Tourism shared Cusi’s optimism.In a speech before the 36th Philippine Business Conference, Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim said the government is confident of getting out of the black mark from the US FAA “by March next year once the audit is completed this month.