Two days after the local aviation industry was granted a Category 1 status by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) the Palace vowed to exert all efforts to maintain it.
However, “we’ll defer to the airlines to say if this upgrade would have an impact on fares, but we are hoping that everybody would take steps that will benefit the public,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said.
For six years, the Philippines was in Category 2 and the US barred Philippine airline companies from expanding their operations in American airspace because of safety concerns.
“The FAA will observe us for the next two years and we will make sure that we will strictly adhere to the guidelines for Category 1. We will make sure that we won’t have any Significant Safety Concern,” Valte told Radyo ng Bayan.
With the status upgrade, Philippine airline companies could increase the number of their flights to the US and open new flight destinations there.
On the homefront, Valte said, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines are undertaking the necessary rehabilitation and upgrade of Philippine airports.
In addition, DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya paid a visit to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport 1 to make sure that its rehabilitation was on track.
At the same time, the provincial airports are being equipped with night vision capabilities.