FAA Report raises more questions than answers

Check Pilots should not ride planes for free!

March 19, 2012

The US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) Report given to Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Mar Roxas raises more questions than answers to the recently concluded Pre-Assessment Audit on International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)'s Standards and Recommended Practices (SARP) reviewed by US FAA inspectors on Jan. 23 to 27, 2012.

Sec. Roxas refused to comment when pressed with the issue but confirmed the gaping hole in the aviation transport industry and the incompetence of some regulation officials to address the problem.

Sec Roxas said results of the FAA’s recent technical assessment showed the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines’ (CAAP) failure to address deficiencies.

The transport Secretary expressed his dismay at CAAP saying that “The issues raised were basic international aviation standards,”

Roxas added that “Any self-respecting agency should have followed the standards.” He could also not understand CAAP's reluctance to follow the rules, even if told to.

“Those are the standards. We chose not to follow them and this is the consequence,” Roxas said.

The report stated that the level of compliance on critical aviation safety issues is left much to be desired. For example, the FAA auditors questioned the practice of CAAP inspectors in taking free rides on airlines while conducting audit, which it said is clearly a conflict of interest.

The qualifications and training of CAAP’s inspectors and other critical technical personnel is also flawed and needs to be revamped, as most of them clearly possess no concrete experience to the required job description. CAAP rehired its employees even if they are not clearly qualified for the job.

According to printed news report, the FAA said that in one check they conducted on the aircraft worthiness audit capabilities of CAAP personnel, they noted that the inspectors were issuing rating and limitations on a CAAP-approved aircraft maintenance organization (AMO), despite having no training on the aircraft worthiness check.

FAA also laments the lack of system to evaluate the quality of training the agency are getting for their personnel, such as the pilot skill tests and aircraft worthiness checks casting doubt on the qualifications of these inspectors, and the absence of a computerized records keeping system, such as a Civil Aviation Safety Reporting and Tracking System (CASORT) which has time and again been suggested to the government to install since 2009.

The reason why it isn't installed by CAAP baffles the auditors.

“A review of these records revealed record keeping errors that caused confusion, and a lack of hard copies made the records incomplete,” the FAA report said.

“The records provided were confusing in that they did not clearly differentiate between training provided by the CAAP and training provided by sources prior to employment by CAAP. Without hard-copy records, the CASORT system data alone would have given the false impression that inspectors were not qualified,” it said.

The FAA report also found numerous wording errors in the CAAP's version of Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations (PCAR) which needs to be rectified the soonest.
Roxas said that prior to his assumption as DOTC Secretary, the CAAP had made a promise to President Aquino himself that the country would be able to regain its category 1 status with the FAA within a year which they subsequently failed.

CAAP Director General Ramon S. Gutierrez said Monday that they are addressing the technical issues seriously. Gutierrez said they would go to Washington in April this year to lobby the US government for a corrective action plan and clarification from the FAA.

Gutierrez laments that while CAAP had addressed the original 88 “significant safety concerns,” the FAA team added 20 more items for remedial corrections.

"That's why were clarifying some issues with them" says Gutirrez.

Gutierrez said that one of the new issues raised by FAA is not technical but political in nature which can be only solve by the Philippine Congress.

It said that while a Philippine-registered airplanes can operate freely in the US, the US-registered aircraft cannot be allowed to operate in the country.

But Gutierrez is not buying the idea and will challenge the issue raised by FAA in Washington. 

Philippine Airlines Philippine-registered planes has been barred from flying in the United States because of category 2 status.


  1. corrupt kasi, Ang sinusunod nila ang Lucio tan Audit, category 1 kaagad.

  2. what's new in CAAP? same dogs, different collar and lots of corruption!

  3. US aviation watchdog review finds
    Philippine safety standards still deficient

    By Associated Press

    March 20, 2012

    MANILA, Philippines — The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has found lingering deficiencies in Philippine air safety standards despite the country’s efforts to fix the problems.

    Unqualified personnel inspect aircraft and airport facilities, inspectors accept free rides on the same airlines they are checking and airlines receive certification despite failing to meet requirements, according to a report summary made available to The Associated Press.

    Safety and management concerns led the U.S. aviation watchdog to downgrade the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines in 2007 and limit U.S.-bound flights from the Philippines. In 2010, the European Union also blacklisted Philippine carriers.

    Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas said Tuesday the government will take measures to address the deficiencies. He acknowledged that the FAA findings will adversely affect the Philippine airline industry and may discourage tourists.

    “We will make an assessment and develop a course of action to address the deficiencies cited in the FAA report,” Roxas said. “We will implement a zero-tolerance policy for defects whether it is on personnel or equipment.”

    A team from the Philippine aviation authority is set to visit Washington in mid-April to present an action plan to address the more than 20 issues mentioned in the FAA report following the technical review in January.

    That visit as well as the January review are a prelude to the still unscheduled audit by the FAA.

    Roxas told reporters that it may take some time before Philippines air carriers could once again be allowed to fly to the U.S. without restrictions on operations or heightened FAA surveillance.

    Airline industry leaders have urged the government to work more aggressively on getting this status back so they could add flights to the U.S. and Europe — lucrative routes plied by thousands of overseas Filipino workers each day.

    CAAP deputy chief John Andrews said the Philippine aviation agency was developing in-house training modules and manuals to standardize training for inspectors. The CAAP board will abolish the practice of free rides for inspectors, he said.

    He said the FAA welcomed the Philippines’ move toward computer-based surveillance and its efforts to meet FAA guidelines on critical elements of air safety oversight. These include fielding qualified inspectors and strengthening regulations, licensing and certification.

    The FAA recommended that inspectors complete a standardized training program and called for a budget to remove free rides. It says that certificates issued to two local carriers should be revalidated and inspectors trained on the importance of enforcement.

    It also called for putting in place civil penalty sanctions and an amendment to the country’s civil aviation law to allow local carriers to lease foreign aircraft.



    By Paul Gutierrez
    The Philippine Journal

    April 02, 2012

    THE Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) of the United States has concluded there is no “evidence” in official records of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), showing Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific Air have passed the ‘revalidation process’ to keep current their licenses to operate known as the ‘Air Operator Certificate’ (AOC).

    This was among the adverse findings by the FAA during its technical review of the country’s ongoing efforts to comply with international aviation safety standards as member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

    “During the technical review, no AOC holder had completed the revalidation process nor had any new AOC (license) been issued since the September 2011 publishing of the guidelines (on AOC certification).

    “Both Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Airlines revalidations were incomplete,” noted the FAA in its report.

    Members of the FAA, headed by Jacques Astre, were in the country from January 23 to 27 to review the compliance performance of the Philippines to the ICAO’s standards and recommended practices (SARPs).

    The country again failed to pass the review and would continue to remain under ‘Category 2’ status of the ICAO. This means that all Philippine-based carriers remain banned from entering the airspace of most countries, particularly Europe and the United States.

    The FAA further added that “the CAAP was unable to show any certification evidence for either Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific Airlines to support a five-phase process that meets the ICAO standards.”

    The civil authorities in the Macau special administrative region, the Autoridade de Aviacâo Civil, has already demanded from the CAAP “information on safety oversight inspection of (Philippine) air operators,” especially PAL and Cebu Pacific, which both have regular scheduled flights to Macau.

    Chan Weng Hong, president of the Macau civil aviation authority, in a letter to CAAP director general Ramon S. Gutierrez last February 29, said he is seeking the clarification in compliance with Macau’s own “safety assessment of foreign aircraft” allowed to operate within the borders of the Macau SAR.