Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said he is hoping that the ongoing validation of European Union (EU) representatives in the Philippines will result to the country being removed from the union’s blacklist.
“EU team is currently here for a five-day visit [June 3 to June 7]. We hope to get good news by end of June,” said Abaya.
The EU team is currently in the country assessing the country’s aviation safety measures to determine whether the Philippines should be removed from the European Union blacklist.
Abaya also said that EU representatives will most likely take the incident at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City into consideration when they submit their report.
He was referring to Cebu Pacific Flight 5J-971 which landed in bad weather and veered off the runway of the Francisco Bangoy International Airport on Monday.
The country is also looking to an upgrade in aviation safety rating from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before the end of the year.
Earlier, President Benigno Aquino 3rd ordered the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to work for the removal of the country from the watchlist of the EU and the FAA.
In 2008, the FAA downgraded the Philippines to Category 2 status for failing to comply with international aviation safety standards. Category 2 prevents airlines from the Philippines from adding new routes to the US.
The aviation industry has been hoping that the FAA would restore the country to Category 1 status, which would certify that it has fully complied with international air safety standards.
Earlier, CAAP Director General William Hotchkiss 3rd said that under his stewardship, the various CAAP programs have allowed the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to lift the significant safety concerns it previously issued to the Philippines.
The ICAO systemizes the principles and techniques of international air navigation, and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth. Meanwhile, the FAA regulates, ensures safety and oversees all aspects of civil aviation.
Earlier reports said that the FAA and the CAAP have signed an agreement where the FAA will provide the CAAP with two years’ assistance to make sure that the Philippine aviation body would be on track to regain the Category 1 status.