Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Philippine aviation safety audit update

Aviation body readies for 2nd round of audit

Philippine transportation authorities will ask the United States Federal Aviation Administration for a new audit of the Philippine aviation safety regulatory capability within three months.
Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza, said that congressmen have agreed to enact a law creating the Civil Aviation Authority, one of the requirements set forth by the FAA.
Congress will resume session on Jan. 28.

“If we have the law and we have complied with the FAA findings, we will invite them for another audit,” Mendoza said, although he admitted that it will take time for the ATO to train new personnel to fill up the large vacancy for pilots, air traffic controllers and other aviation experts.
The ATO is searching for an additional 32 check pilots, 27 airworthiness inspectors, and 300 air traffic controllers. At present, ATO has only 12 check pilots, 25 airworthiness inspectors and 700 air traffic controllers nationwide.

President Arroyo gave Mendoza three months to address the issues raised by the FAA, including weaknesses in having a primary aviation legislation, specific operating regulations, technical guidance, qualified technical personnel, licensing and certification, continued surveillance regulations, and resolution on safety issues.

In particular, among the FAA’s concerns are outdated aviation regulations, poor training for safety inspectors, and substandard licensing for airframe and engine inspectors.

To address the issues raised by the FAA, Mendoza said the ATO will be reorganized within the next six months to fill up the huge number of vacant positions in the agency. Of the 7,000 plantilla positions in ATO, only 3,500 posts or only half have been filled, he said.
Mendoza said that while they are waiting for the passage of the bill, ATO is already preparing the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR).

Under the proposed bill, ATO will have fiscal autonomy to use all of its revenues for its operations. In 2007, only P1.3 billion or less than half of the ATO’s revenues were allocated for the agency under the General Appropriations Act.
This year, the ATO will receive P1.6 billion out of the projected P3-billion revenues of the agency.

The ATO is still governed by Republic Act 776, enacted on June 30, 1952, otherwise known as the Civil Aeronautics Act of the Philippines.

1 comment:

Steve said...

I'm very interested in this...has there been any updates since then??