CAA Chief Axed

Hotchkiss in!

June 21, 2012

The Director General of Civil Aviation Authority (CAAP) was sacked last week by President Aquino after failing to address long-standing safety oversight issues amidst FAA audit fiasco .

Ramon S. Gutierrez will be replaced by William K. Hotchkiss III effective June 30. Hotchkiss, 69, served as commanding general of the Philippine Air Force from 1996 to 1999.

DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas previously walked out in disgust during an exit conference on January 27, 2012 by Operations Inspector Specialist Jacques Astre, head of the FAA technical team, when he was mislead by CAAP officials as to its readiness to take on the FAA audit. 

Secretary Roxas was infuriated with the results presented by Astre, berating the CAAP for failing to adequately prepare for the FAA review before walking out of the meeting. He labeled CAAP management incompetent for failure to address the  Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) deficiencies.

Secretary Roxas said Hotchkiss’ possess excellent record in public service as well as in the private sector and they hoped that he would spell difference in the reforms to be undertaken at CAAP.

“Hotchkiss brings to CAAP his comprehensive air operations experience and proven people management skills,” Roxas said.

“A staunch advocate of discipline, good work ethic, and prioritizing safety in air flights, he fits the bill in overseeing the operations of CAAP.” adds Roxas.
The International Aviation Safety Assessment Program (IASA Program) is a program established by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in 1992 designed to appreciate a country's ability to adhere to standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance. 


  1. it's about time.

  2. Nap Garcia and Elmer Pena next! its payback time, babalikan din kayo ng panloloko at pang-gigipit nyo sa mga piloto at flying school. dapat imbestigahan mga pangongotong nyo! ipakulong ang mga abusado at kurakot sa gobyerno na tulad nyo! buksan nyo ang SALN nyo at pumirma kayo ng waiver sa mga peso at dollar accounts nyo!

  3. He Is The Only One Who Can Get The CAT-2 Re-Upgraded Now That PAL Had Their B777s

  4. will he be able to turn CAAP around? fair gues: no....but wish him person to ever run that office was the yanked out al cusi......can't anyone get him back and take on the office again and square it out?

    Gutierrez wanted the job so badly that he was yanking out al he's yanked out for non-performance..nap garcia, johnny andrews, dela pena and all the other crooks should also leave the office voluntary.

  5. Another military-ex to take on the CAAP?!
    Ugh, they need CIVIL employees with a large amount of technical and CIVIL aviation experience. NOT ex-military personnel.

  6. another general. good luck!

  7. By Jarius Bondoc
    Philippine Star

    Ramon Gutierrez was replaced as head of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines ten days before marking his second year in office. Naturally the former military pilot-general felt bad. He had promised his appointer Noynoy Aquino to get the country out of the blacklist of international aviation authorities. He even gave himself a deadline of two years to do so. But weeks before that lapsed it was obvious he wasn’t going to make it. So he had to go.

    What particularly hurt for Gutierrez was that he thought he was about to win, in overtime of two to three months. By August the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) would have audited the Philippines’ compliance with flight safety standards. By the following month the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would have reviewed its Category-2 rating of the Philippines. Gutierrez was confident of passing both. Since he took over the CAAP in 2010, the ICAO and FAA’s 88 negative findings had been pared down to 21. The ICAO lumps the 21 into four issues. All concern the lack of training of CAAP check pilots, tasked to rate their commercial superjumbo-jet counterparts.

    At present the check pilots either are full-time CAAP employees who have flown only light planes, or retired, experienced but part-time fliers. Had the ICAO and FAA’s low ratings been upgraded, Europe and Asian countries would have followed suit. No longer would Philippine carriers have to suffer, due to CAAP’s fault, global bans on adding new flight routes or frequencies.

    But Gutierrez’s plan will never be tested now. His replacement, ex-Air Force chief William Hotchkiss, first would have to familiarize himself with the blacklist issue. It’s doubtful if he would be able to schedule the ICAO and FAA audits in the third quarter of 2012. He has asked the press for patience, as his first focus would be on the twin headache of corruption in the CAAP. The successive global downgrades of the Philippines, starting 2007, sprang from rackets in airplane, airline and pilot inspection and licensing. Most of the racketeers remain, protected as they are by civil service laws and the protracted process of criminal prosecution.

    There are side issues. The CAAP chief would have to swiftly work for the night rating of major airports to unclog the Manila International terminal. He would also have to meet counterparts from other agencies in the transportation department, as well as envoys to the US, Europe, Japan, Korea and Australia who will help him get aviation upgrades.

    Meanwhile, general aviation businessmen are grumbling about the government habit of appointing ex-generals to the CAAP. The Air Force is so backward, they say, that its officers are so unversed with modern terminals, aircraft and procedures.

  8. Airline Pilot appointed CAAP Deputy

    John Cu Unjieng Andrews was appointed as Deputy Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) effective October 1, 2012. Mr. Cu Unjieng Andrews will replace John Roa Andrews.

    Mr. Cu Unjieng Andrews was the former vice chairman and director of palm oil producer Kenram Industrial & Development, Inc. (KIDI). He was also vice president for flight operations of local carrier Cebu Pacific from 1998 to 2003.

    The newly installed CAAP chief served as an airline captain and pilot for flagship airline Philippine Airlines for over two decades to 1983. He was a former air force captain.

    Mr. Cu Unjieng Andrews studied as a pilot in the Philippine Air Force Flying School and has a Mechanical Engineering degree from De La Salle University.