Manila, Philippines – The Philippine aviation industry is expected to reach new heights, as more long-haul flights by local airlines are being planned to the United States of America (USA) and Europe. The audit by the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on February 18, 2013, showed that the Philippine government successfully took corrective actions to address and resolve the “significant safety concerns” identified by ICAO, and conform with global air travel best practices.
Passing the ICAO audit is a step closer for local air carriers to be allowed to expand US operations and fly to Europe again. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), which received the compliant report from ICAO on March 1, 2013, is moving to regain the USA Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) “Category 1” rating. The Philippines now has a “Category 2” status, which the FAA issues to civil aviation authorities of countries with ICAO Standard and Recommended Practices on international civil aviation safety. Once the country regains its “Category 1” status, the nation’s flag carrier, Philippine Airlines, plans to fly to London, Paris, Rome, and more cities of the USA and another local airline, Cebu Pacific, may also fly to the USA.
When local airlines expand in the USA and fly again to Europe, the number of foreign tourists is expected to increase. The country now has four million tourist arrivals each year. The Department of Tourism cited the lack of direct flights from Europe as one of the factors visitor arrivals from that region have remained low.
A study by Oxford Economics, one of the world’s foremost global forecasting and research consultancies, commissioned by the Canada-headquartered International Air Transport Association (IATA) in 2012, showed that the Philippine aviation sector contributed 2.4% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, brought 98% of foreign tourists, created 4.42 million jobs, and contributed R26 billion in taxes.
We congratulate Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio A. Abaya and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines Director General William K. Hotchkiss III, in their partnership to promote safety and best practices in the Republic of the Philippine aviation sector. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!
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