The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) expressed satisfaction as the Philippines has successfully addressed and resolved the significant safety concerns (SSCs) that would result to the upgrading of the country’s aviation status.
Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte, in a statement, said the ICAO has sent a Coordinated Validation Mission to the Philippines last month to inspect the efforts of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to comply with international aviation safety standards, and address SSCs identified by the ICAO.
"Before they left, the ICAO team expressed great satisfaction with what they found, and said they would make a recommendation to the ICAO headquarters in Montreal, Canada, that the significant safety concerns previously issued to the Philippines be lifted," she said.
In a letter to the CAAP dated March 1, Valte said, the ICAO stated that the SSC Validation Committee "has determined that the corrective actions taken by the Philippines have successfully addressed and resolved" the SSCs.
With this positive development, the CAAP will continue to coordinate with the European Union and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) about upgrading the country’s aviation status, she said.
In 2007, the US FAA lowered the status of Philippine carriers to "category 2" and restricted the operations of local airlines, particularly Philippine Airlines, to San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Citing the Philippine government’s poor oversight capabilities, the FAA banned Philippine flag carriers from expanding their operations in the United States.
In 2010, the ICAO raised several "significant safety concerns" in the Philippine aviation sector, particularly its poor regulatory environment.
The European Union then used ICAO’s findings as basis to ban Philippine carriers from operating in the continent. Philippine airlines were also barred from entering the continent’s airspace.