As Cat 1 Upgrade looms
22 March 2014
22 March 2014
John Barbagallo is coming.
And for the Philippine aviation industry, his return to the country has long been awaited, six years to be exact, to reverse the decision he brought along with him in 2008. And there is only one person who does that. The Chief Inspector for International Programs and Policy Division (IPPD) of FAA Flights Standards Service. The Manager himself.
Barbagallo's anticipated return brought cheers to the country's aviation regulator despite nixing an earlier travel plans in November of last year due to internal concerns at the FAA. His confirmed presence already send signals to Philippine Airlines (PAL), the country's flag carrier which is making its fleet of Boeing 777-300ER ready for the overdue and long awaited jump to the United States in April as the FAA set to announce next week the validation results of an earlier audit conducted on January of this year.
PAL has reason to celebrate as there are only two instances when Barbagallo presence can be a bane or boon to the country he visits. He either brings with him good news or bad news and that's about it.
For Ramon Ang led airline, the manager for IPPD personally brought bad news to the Philippines reversing the airline's fortune when he downgraded the country to Category 2 status after repeatedly warning the Air Transportation Office, the precursor of Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to shape up or ship out of its grace under the IASA mantle.
International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program of the FAA annually checks relevant records for countries that have air carriers operating to the United States. After an IASA visit, FAA inspectors render judgments about the country’s aviation oversight capacity based on factors such as national air law; aviation regulations; structure, funding and responsibility of the civil aviation authority; qualification and guidance of aviation inspectors; licensing of aviation professionals; aircraft and airline certification; proven effectiveness in resolving safety issues; and, more particularly quality of oversight of operations.
The FAA designates audited countries as Category 2 if in the judgment of the FAA’s inspectors, they did not meet International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards.
The Philippines recently met the ICAO standards in 2013 when the Canada-based organization cleared the country from having Significant Safety Concerns (SSC)s to its aviation laws and regulations after the ICAO conducted Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM) February 18 last year.
Formal announcement by John Barbagallo is expected next week. Official Report will be communicated by the State Department to the Philippines in time for President Barack Obama's visit to the country.