The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) on Friday evening announced the suspension of a local airline’s Air Operator Certificate (AOC) due to continued violations of the safety standards set by the authority.
CAAP acting head Deputy Director General John Andrews signed the suspension of Zest Air’s AOC in connection with several infractions compromising several flights operations on various airports.
Andrews said there are six non-conformances and deficiencies of the airline in maintaining the acceptable level in operating an Air Operator Certificate, namely:
* No qualified accountable manager
* Failure to check aircraft logs, flight manifest, weather, etc.
* Failure to present to the Authority the airman license (Aircraft Mechanic License) during ramp inspection that is non-conformance with PCAR 22.214.171.124
* Series of occurrences that affected several flights operations
* Refuelling with passengers on board involving RP-C8989, on August 14, 2013, which is non-conformance to PCAR 126.96.36.199
* Excessive flight duty time case under the enforcement and legal service.
The suspension order addressed to Ambassador Alfredo M. Yao, Zest Air, Inc. chairman, said: “In the course of monitoring, this Agency is alarmed of Zest Air’s series of serious deviations and infractions of the rules and standards prescribed under the Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations (PCARs).”
“As a consequence thereto, this Authority has constituted on July 31, 2013, a dedicated group of Airworthiness Inspectors tasked to conduct heightened monitoring and surveillance of your airline operations.
“In gist, the report submitted shows continuing violations of your airline on the safety standards set forth under the applicable PCARs, the details are hereby enclosed.
“This Agency is giving stress to the fact that since July 19, 2013, your airline has no Accountable Manager, in grave violation of Subsection 188.8.131.52”
Andrew said the suspension of the AOC of Zest Air takes effect upon the receipt of the notice which will remain in effect until the Authority “is assured that the necessary corrective actions and compliance with aviation safety standards has been undertaken” by the airline.
The letter also said that “only your aircraft which are inbound Manila will be allowed to fly, and thereat, terminate the flight.”
On March this year, Air Asia Philippines, the local arm of Malaysia’s low cost carrier AirAsia Group, entered into a share swap deal with the Zest Airways Group of former ambassador and juice magnate Yao.
Under the agreement, AirAsia would acquire a 49 percent stake in Zest Air and 100 percent in Asiawide Airways—both under the Zest Air Group.
Benjie L. Vergara