A European Union delegation is now in the Philippines to assess the safety systems of Philippine air carriers still on the list of carriers banned from flying over the skies of Europe.
The assessment will focus on Air Asia Inc., Air Asia Zest, Air Philippines Corporation, Island Aviation Inc., Magnum Air, South East Asian Airlines and South East Asian Airlines International.
Only flag carrier Philippine Airlines and budget carrier Cebu Pacific are out of the EU’s list of airlines that fail to meet international aviation standards.
Apart from the airlines, the EU delegation will also check how regulator Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has tackled previous problems in the air industry.
“The EU safety assessment visit to the Philippines will seek to confirm that the CAAP has addressed the root causes of previous areas of concerns and is able to conduct effective oversight of air carriers certified in the Philippines,” CAAP said in a statement on Thursday.
The safety assessment will be conducted by experts from the European Commission, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and member states of the European Union headed by team leader Captain Richard Miller. The team also includes Per-Erik Oberg, Vincent Lambotte, Sebastian Zacharias and Mureil Belzunce.
The team, accompanied by EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux, met with CAAP director general William Hotchkiss III and discussed their safety assessment procedure.
Also in the meeting were Air Asia Inc. representative Marianne Hontiveros, Air Asia Zest’s Josephine Joy Caneba, Air Philippines’ Bonifacio U. Sam, Island Aviation Inc.’s Capt. Benhur Gomez, Magnum Air’s (Skyjet Inc.) Capt. Teodoro Fojas, Southeast Asian Airlines’ (Tiger Airways) Michael Shau and South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) International Inc.’s Avelino Zapanta.
In 2010, the EU banned Philippine carriers from European airspace after the Philippines failed to comply with international safety standards.
PAL and Cebu Pacific were restored and allowed to fly to European Union countries again in July, 2013 and April, 2014 respectively.
Source: Andrei Medina/VS, GMA News