What Happened to Category 1 Status? CAAP Failed January Audit

The Philippines has failed to receive the much-coveted aviation rating upgrade in February from the US Federal Aviation Administration after failing the most recent audit conducted by a team from the United States in late January. According to media reports, inside sources revealed that the US Federal Aviation Administration found the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to still be non-compliant with respect to "critical elements" on the check list of safety requirements that the US FAA has been monitoring.


The results are contradictory to earlier statements by CAAP officials that suggested that the aviation safety upgrade from the United States was "all but certain" as "there are no more safety issues" as far as the national regulator was concerned. But it seems that in light of the negative outcome of the recent audit, CAAP officials are desperate to keep these embarrassing results from being revealed to the public. 

John Andrews, Deputy Director General of CAAP announced in November of last year that he was confident that the country would finally obtain an upgrade from the US Federal Aviation Administration. He went as far as offering to resign should the country fail to comply with the standards set by the US FAA. "If it does not happen, the bucks stops at me," said Andrews. "If this does not happen, I will no longer be here. That is my commitment." Andrews' confidence was rooted in a decision by the European Union to partially lift its ban enabling Philippine Airlines to resume service to Europe. 

With the Philippines remaining in Category 2 status in the United States, Philippine carriers remain banned from opening new routes and adding additional flights to the United States. The team from the United States visited the Philippines in January to review compliance of the Civil Aviation Authority with regard to international safety standards. After the audit was completed, an unfavourable five page report was submitted to the Civil Aviation Authority deeming the country as "unsafe" and non-compliant according to industry sources. 

The report revealed that the Civil Aviation Authority failed to comply with several requirements. The regulator failed to pass in 4 out of 8 critical elements that the Federal Aviation Administration has been monitoring for "safety oversight" compliance by local civil aviation authorities. In order to obtain Category 1 status, all 8 elements must be addressed. 

The Civil Aviation Authority failed in the following four elements:
  • Licensing, Certification, Authorization, and Approval Obligations
  • Technical Guidance, Tools and Provision of Safety Critical Information
  • Technical Personnel Qualification and Traiing
  • Primary Aviation Legislation
The report also revealed that the Civil Aviation Authority had failed to comply with an Article of the Chicago Convention pertaining to approach ban provisions. In addition, it was found that the CAAP Airmen Examination Board personnel were not trained to prepare, administer, and evaluate written theoretical examinations. Records produced indicated that only 1 out of 9 employees had received four initial trainings. To complicate matters further, there was no evidence of having correct training in almost all of the Civil Aviation Authority's development courses. No employees completed any of the formal training policies and programs for operations while Airworthiness Inspectors had not received adequate on the job training. Furthermore, the CAAP Airworthiness Technical Guidance did not contain complete policies, procedures, or standards. 

Industry insiders suggest that addressing the FAA findings are within reach but that nobody within the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines is actually doing the necessary work to show compliance with regulations. The five-member FAA team was in Manila from January 20 to 24 led by Gregory Michael, head of Flight Standards District Office of the Federal Aviation Administration.

An official announcement is expected to be made by the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington within 65 days of the last audit. However, it is believed that the FAA will be returning in March for another audit which gives hope that the United States is giving the country another chance to comply before issuing a final verdict for the immediate future. Philippine Airlines is desperate for the country to be upgraded so that it can replace its ageing aircraft presently operating US routes with modern, fuel efficient aircraft to help cut costs and improve profitability.

21 comments:

  1. CAAP should have a checklist so they would know where and what area to concentrate on improving.

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  2. CAAP should have spent the money they're getting from travel tax and terminal fees to improve personnel training and operational standards.

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  3. CAAP is too deep involved in internal fights and protection of its different turfs so they forget that they have a job to do! DDG Andrews is just a big talker without any backbone to do what he said he will do! Altogether CAAP has maintained its membership in NATO = No Action, Talks Only!

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  4. To first comment: they did have a checklist. Anybody with access to Google can find them and most certainly the head of the CAAP had them. It's petty obvious that the 1 out of 9 who were qualified were the minority who are qualified based on their own merit. The other 8 were the ones hired based on the connections to friends or family already in government. So goes government jobs in the Philippines.

    Second commwnt: a respectable government would investigate where that money has been going. The Philippines government isn't, so they won't.

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  5. After all this time they still couldn't pass? Time for a radical change. Maybe they need to put some of those fees charged to bringing in some people from overseas into senior positions. A change of culture perhaps.

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  6. ...o kagustuhan, kalukuhan, at pagmamaliit lamang ito ng FAA sa Pilipinas at gawa-gawaan lang ang mga findings. Tingnan ninyo ang Israel, after 4 years of being Categorized into two, nakabalik kaagad sa Category I ng basta-bastahan. Gusto ng FAA na ipagpatuloy ng Philippine Airlines ang paggamit ng lumang eroplanong halos 20 years old na at matakaw sa gasolina. Gusto rin ng FAA na malugi ang PAL at hindi makabiyahe ang Cebu Pacific sa USA at ng PAL sa JFK.

    Kung may mangyaring insidente ang PAL sa US flights, FAA ang mananagot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Intay muna pala. Halimbawa ng insidente ng PAL ay tulad ng major crash.

      Delete
  7. This is another perfect example of crab mentality. How is it that this reporter reporter already knows the result of the FAA Audit??? Why cant we just wait for the official announcement before crucifying the CAAP... Its sad that another agency is tarnished just because of some unnamed sources. I hope that when the official announcement is made, this report be proven true. If proven false, it goes down again to irresponsible journalism and a waste of time for those who read this article.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are a number of local media outlets that have confirmed the information contained in this report including Boo Chanco of the Philippine Star. However, it is important to note that we are not reporting that the Philippines will not receive Category 1 status. The final decision of the US Federal Aviation Administration is unknown. However, what is being reported is that the results of the most recent mini-audit conducted in January were not favourable and that improvement is still needed before Category 1 can be attained. The results of the most recent FAA audit are known because a source from CAAP leaked them. However, these results are not the final decision of the US FAA. They are simply intended as a "progress report."

      Philippine Star: http://www.philstar.com/business/2014/02/12/1289270/category-1-elusive-dream

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    2. Its just sad that the Headline is misleading, tarnishing the reputation of the CAAP without the final confirmation of the FAA. If CAAP fails, than punish those responsible... but if not, than I hope that Philippine Flight Network and other media outlets report this with the same enthusiasm and sensationalism as presented here.

      Delete
  8. Tabloid Journalism, hindi pa pala official... Headline na...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Philippine Star: http://www.philstar.com/business/2014/02/12/1289270/category-1-elusive-dream

      Rappler: http://www.rappler.com/business/industries/171-aviation-tourism/50237-ph-aviation-status-upgrade-us-faa-january

      Philippine Star: http://www.philstar.com/business/2014/02/19/1291914/bad-news

      Philippine Star: http://www.philstar.com/business/2014/02/11/1288902/no-category-1-rating-february

      Delete
  9. Stop bickering all of you. Here are the hard facts!

    http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/iasa/media/IASAWS.xlsx

    ReplyDelete
  10. i think caap has to wait 30-60 days before the results

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    Replies
    1. it will be the 60th day on March 25, 2014 since the last day of audit last January 24, 2014. Just monitor the FAA website: http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/iasa/media/IASAWS.xlsx

      The FAA does not make any noise when they are updating their IASA Results.

      Delete
  11. By simply knowing the procedure that will an auditor passes through as well as why audits are generally accomplished it really is much simpler to get the best career in Auditing Jobs Zjob4u.

    ReplyDelete
  12. it will be the 60th day on March 25, 2014 since the last day of audit last January 24, 2014. Just monitor the FAA website: http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/iasa/media/IASAWS.xlsx

    The FAA does not make any noise when they are updating their IASA Results.

    ReplyDelete
  13. As of March 7, 2014 update of the FAA IASA Results worldwide, the Philippines is still in Category 2.

    ReplyDelete
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