Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines closely watching airlines for violations

MANILA, Philippines - The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) is closely watching violations committed both by foreign and domestic airlines as it steps up efforts to convince the US Federal Aviation Administration (US-FAA) to lift a ban preventing local airlines from mounting additional flights to the US.

Records from CAAP’s Flight Operations Safety (FOD) showed that the regulator is investigating two South Korean airlines for various violations on Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations (PCAR).

The regulator refused to identify the South Korean airlines pending completion of the investigation.

On the other hand, CAAP penalized two pilots of Air Busan Co. Ltd. for violating operational requirements as well as failing to adhere to air traffic control clearances under the PCAR.

CAAP slapped a $1,500 penalty for each pilot for violating CAAP operational requirements in October of last year.

The decision to enforce regulations was recommended by Flight Operations Department Safety Inspectors Capt. Rizal Ventura and Capt. Alfredo Juliano who believed that the pieces of evidence gathered by their committee are valid and supports the sanctions.

Last June 25, CAAP deputy director general Capt. John Andrews announced the suspension of the two pilots of budget airline Cebu Air Inc. (Cebu Pacific) arising from an error wherein its Airbus 320 veered off the runway of the Davao International Airport.

The June 2 incident resulted in the closure of the international gateway for two days.

Capt. Ruel Oropesa was suspended for six months while his first officer Edwin Perello was suspended for three months.

Likewise, CAAP also required Cebu Pacific to comply with its corrective action plans to prevent a repeat of the incident. The evaluation must be completed not later than July 31 and findings of any continuing systematic failure during the sampling exercise will result to suspension of Cebu Pacific operations.

Unrestricted access must be extended to all properly identified CAAP flight inspectors who are tasked to conduct heightened surveillance or monitoring of the performance of flight crews and operations starting July 1.

CAAP has also instructed air traffic controllers not to allow take off and landing during zero visibility conditions.

After successfully getting the ban lifted by the European Union, transportation and aviation authorities are confident that the ban imposed by the US Federal Aviation Administration (US-FAA) could be lifted as early as August wherein no less than FAA chief Michael Huerta visiting the Philippines to make the announcement.

Last July 10, EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux announced the lifting of the ban imposed on national flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) from entering European airspace as the European Commission and the Air Safety Committee were encouraged by the actions being undertaken by CAAP to address outstanding safety issues.