During its exit briefing held with officials of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) yesterday, 22 February 2013, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Coordinated Validation Missions (ICVM) Team expressed its great satisfaction with CAAP's efforts to comply with international safety standards.
Members of the ICAO ICVM team said that they will be recommending to the ICAO Headquarters (Hqs) in Montreal, Canada the lifting of the Significant Safety Concerns (SSCs) it previously issued to the Philippines.
CAAP is optimistic that the recommendations will be approved/adopted by ICAO Hqs. The ICAO official announcement on the lifting of the SSCs is expected to be made within two to three weeks’ time. Meanwhile, CAAP is assured of DOTCs support on the continuity of reforms it introduced to the institution.
Nevertheless, CAAP cannot fully celebrate immediately, as today, 23 February 2013, is the interment of Capt. Francisco Juliano, vice chairman of the CAAP Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program (USOAP), who was responsible for marshaling CAAP's efforts to address the SSCs. He died last Saturday, 16 February 2013, in his office doing overtime work in preparation for the ICAO audit.
ICAO’s validation mission focused on two critical elements only, namely, the OPS 1 Certification of Airlines in the Philippines and the Air/7 registration of Philippine-registered civil aviation aircraft.
The other three critical elements, which are Legal, Organization and Licensing, were already satisfactorily addressed last October 2012, and, thus, were no longer validated again by the ICAO ICVM Team.
With the lifting of the ICAO SSCs, CAAP can now focus on regaining the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Category 1 rating. Category 2 status is issued by the FAA to the civil aviation authorities of countries that are non-compliant to ICAO Standard And Recommended Practices (SARPs) on international civil aviation safety.