Downgrade of aviation safety rating alarms PCCI

April 25, 2010 12:41 pm 

MANILA, April 25 — The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) has expressed deep concern over the long term consequence of the downgrade of the government’s aviation safety rating by the United States and the consequent blacklisting of Philippine-registered carriers to 27 EU countries, saying the decision is not fair to Philippine carriers and to a sovereign country like the Philippines.

Noting that the findings of the international aviation organization result from government’s failure to create a technically-competent and efficient civil aviation authority in the country, the PCCI calls on the government to take the necessary reforms at the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) primarily by professionalizing its ranks to ensure that the aviation body would regain international safety ratings.

PCCI Vice President for Service Angelito Colona noted, “For the country to regain the Category 1 status, CAAP, as regulatory body on aviation, needs more qualified technical personnel to do oversight functions, particularly random inspections on Philippine carriers.”

Since the US findings show that it is the Philippine regulatory body that is not competent to oversee airline operations, PCCI further recommends that US and EU carriers be suspended from operating into the Philippines.

“The downgrading evaluation on CAAP implies that if (CAAP) is not capable of handling foreign airlines operations, therefore the government should suspend operations of these airlines in the Philippines as well," says PCCI President Francis Chua.

PCCI fears the negative impact of the evaluation to the country’s economy, particularly on tourism development and national competitiveness.

"If this issue will not be addressed immediately, it will curtail some of the gains of the tourism industry and create a negative image of the Philippines as an unsafe destination with untrustworthy facilities and infrastructure," he added.

PCCI says there may be a need to amend RA 9497, the law which created CAAP.

PCCI sees the need for private sector representation in the Board of Directors of CAAP in order to provide sound leadership in the agency. (PNA)

DCT/PR

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