‘We have a long way to go towards getting Philippines off American and European aviation watchlists,’ President Aquino tells Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines
Saying that the country still had a long way to go towards improving and meeting global standards on aviation safety, President Benigno S. Aquino III extolled officers and employees of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to join government efforts and work doubly hard for the Philippines to get off the watch lists of the United States of America and the European Union.
The President issued his “marching orders” during the 5th Anniversary of CAAP held at the agency’s main office in Pasay City on Monday.
“But while I am here today to congratulate you for a job well done, and for celebrating your fifth anniversary, I would also like to remind you that the job is not yet over. In the coming days, weeks, and months, all of us will be working towards getting our country off the watch lists of the United States and the European Union,” the President said.
He lauded the CAAP’s efforts to comply with global safety standards which include: a Civil Aviation Safety Oversight Reporting and Tracking System, the Minimum Required Annual Inspection for all air operators, revalidation of the Air Operators Certificate of five international operators and several other air taxi operators and domestic air operators, and the Certificate Management Department to help our local carriers, such as the Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific, to meet the standards of other countries and help them expand their routes.
He said though that these programs which were implemented under the stewardship of CAAP Director General William Hotchkiss III, have allowed the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to lift the Significant Safety Concerns (SSC) it previously issued to the Philippines and have resulted towards the fact that “it is now more safe to fly in the Philippines.”
“This took the effort of each person who works for this agency, and I extend my gratitude to all of you for your work,” the President said.
“So today I also give you my marching orders: Let’s get this done. We have the momentum; we have the right people and have put the right systems in place. It is time for us to usher in a golden age not just for Philippine aviation—not just for Philippine tourism—but for our entire country,” he added.
The CAAP was created on March 4, 2008 through Republic Act 9497 renaming the Air Transport Office as Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and mandating it to perform the following —inspection and registration of all aircrafts owned and operated in the Philippines and all facilities as well as for the enforcement of laws governing air transportation; operate and maintain national airports, air navigational and other similar facilities and; determine the charges and rates for the operation of public air utility facilities.
Joining the President were Hotchkiss III, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya and CAAP Deputy Director General John Andrews.