Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General John Andrews is confident that the country will get a Category 1 upgrade from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before the year ends.
Andrews said that he is willing to leave his post if CAAP does not get an upgrade.
“We are confident. If that does not happen [getting the FAA upgrade], I will not be around next year,” Andrews said.
FAA officials John Barbagallo, general manager of Flight Safety Service, and James
Timothy Spillane, director of Asia Pacific Rim FAA, are in the country for a safety audit to determine if it the country can be given a Category 1 status.
In 2008, the FAA downgraded the Philippines to Category 2 status for not complying with international aviation safety standards. Category 2 prevents airlines from the Philippines from adding new routes to the US.
On June 4 this year, the FAA agreed to provide CAAP two years’ assistance to make sure that the Philippine aviation body would be on track to regain the Category 1 status.
The FAA regulates, ensures safety and oversees all aspects of civil aviation.
Meanwhile, an assessment made by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in October 2012 showed improvements regarding the implementation of safety measures by the two biggest airlines in the country, Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific.
From June 3 to 7 this year, a European Union (EU) team assessed the country’s aviation safety measures and determine if the Philippines should be removed from the EU airline blacklist.
In February 2013, another ICAO audit found that the Philippine aviation agency has taken sufficient corrective actions to meet international standards.
On July 10, the EU said that it will allow flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) to resume flights to Europe after banning it for almost three years.