Friday, April 11, 2014

Statements of DOT and Malacanang on Restoration of FAA Category 1 Status

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Below are both statements of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Malacanang (from the Deputy Presidential Spokesperson, Undersecretary Abigail Valte) on the upgrade to Category 1 Status of the Philippines by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. Earlier on I posted the official press release of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) at a separate blog post.

We are glad to hear about this great news that will surely uplift the recognition of the Philippine aviation industry towards strengthening tourism promotion efforts of the country.

Many will feel more confident flying to the Philippines now that we are on FAA Category 1 status.

Flying is relatively the safest means of transportation with very little, and almost insignificant compared to the accidents happening on the roads and even the seas, but with the recent disappearance of the Malaysian airplane, there seems to be an impending concern for some to become more aware of classifications such as these to ensure their safety.

Department of Tourism Statement:

"The Department of Tourism (DOT) welcomes the news of the return of the Philippines to Category 1 status by the US Federal Aviation Administration. With this development, Philippine carriers can now operate to other cities in the United States and increase frequencies to existing routes. The anticipated expansion in capacity and network coverage will boost the Department's tourism promotion efforts in US, which is the country's second largest source market.

The Department also congratulates the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines for its steadfast commitment to ensuring that the Philippines complies with the international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization. With the return to Category 1, the riding public can be assured of a safe and convenient travel to the Philippines.

The Department and its partners in the private sector look forward to an expanded and more aggressive marketing campaign in the US as it moves closer to the targets set in the National Tourism Development Plan."

Malacanang Statement:

"Today, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) announced the upgrade of the Philippines to Category 1 Status by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Earlier this morning, the U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg also made the announcement on social media, while the FAA issued a press release on its website.

In 2008, the FAA downgraded the country to Category 2 due to standing significant concerns in our implementation of certain safety standards. This downgrade meant that our carriers could continue existing flights to the U.S., under strict regulation by the FAA.

Our reinstatement to Category 1 status, which revokes the remaining negative rating on the country, means Philippine carriers “may initiate or continue service to the United States in a normal manner and take part in reciprocal code-share arrangements with U.S. carriers,” signaling the expansion of flight services of Philippine carriers in the U.S., and thus enhanced tourism and economic activity between the Philippines and the U.S.

We laud the DOTC and CAAP for the commitment and hard work they have demonstrated in rectifying the lapses and inaction of the past. As they have done this, so too have they instituted a truly service-oriented regime–one which is committed to its mandate of ensuring that our aviation industry meets international standards.

This upgrade is a result of the can-do attitude that prevails in government and society today—an attitude that enables our agencies to continuously strive to ensure the safety and well-being of the wider public, as we all tread the straight path to greater progress and success."

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