Category 1 promotion hinges on FAA verdict

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A technical team from the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) headed by Division Manager for Flight Standards Service John Barbagallo will arrive on Wednesday in Manila to validate results of an audit conducted by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) that had sought to elevate the Philippines to Category 1.

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The FAA downgraded the country to Category 2 in air safety and security in 2008 upon the recommendation of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

It had found Philippine aviation inadequate in basic infrastructure, logistics and systems.

The downgrade prevented the country’s airlines from setting up new or expanding flights to the United States.

The FAA said in a statement that while in Category 2, Philippine carriers will be permitted to continue current operations to the US but will be under heightened FAA surveillance.

In January this year, it sent a team led by Gregory Michaels of the Flight Safety Service to the Philippines to conduct an audit to determine CAAP’s compliance with ICAO standards.

CAAP Deputy Director General John Andrews said in an earlier report he was confident that there are no more safety issues not only as far as the CAAP was concerned but also the European Union and ICAO.

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