Philippines Removed From Aviation Blacklist

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has “officially delisted” the Philippines from the ranks of countries “with unresolved significant safety concerns” (SSCs), the Transportation department said in a statement on Saturday afternoon.

The department said an electronic bulletin issued by ICAO last March 7 stated that the Philippines “has implemented corrective actions in accordance with the mechanism approved by the council to resolve two SSCs — the issuance of air operator certificates and the aircraft registration process –and that as a result, these SSCs have been lifted”.

The notice came a week after ICAO on March 1 wrote Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General William K. Hotchkiss III that the county has successfully “resolved” the SSCs identified by the United Nations agency in 2009.

ICAO that year designated the Philippines as a “significant safety concern,” prompting the European Union the following year to blacklist local carriers from operating among members of that group.

Prior to ICAO’s designation, the US Federal Aviation Admiration (FAA) downgraded the Philippines to Category 2 from Category 1 in 2008 following an audit in 2007, which found that the Philippines was not compliant with the safety standards set by ICAO.

The ICAO’s move was a result of two audits conducted in October last year and last month.

In the same statement, the Transportation department said “the resolution of these SSCs has major implications for the economy.”

“It not only strengthens our efforts to meet international safety standards for the aviation sector, it also boosts the government’s tourism goals,” the department said.

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