Europe-PH News

Hiring of Foreign Aviation Consultants Turned Down

July 26, 2012

Recto L. Mercene

Europe-PH News

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) is forging ahead with its strengthening of the organization from within and improve its regulatory framework in accordance with international standards, but would not give in to  suggestions made by a European business group to hire foreign consultants to expedite the country’s return to Category 1 status.

This was the answer of the Caap chief, William K. Hotchkiss, to the suggestions of the head of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) to adopt drastic measures, or else face the consequence of “being bypassed by the international business community.”

“I will repeat what I said before, our road map is the International Civil Aviation Organization (Icao), we listen if anybody wants to give advice, but we’ll stick with our road map,” Hotchkiss said on Wednesday.

“If there is FAA [US Federal Aviation Administration] or European advice, we’ll listen to it, but it will still be our decision on what to do. So, we’re going to concentrate on training our people, organization and development,” he added.

When asked to comment about the ECCP suggestions to amend Republic Act 9497 that created the Caap and allow Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and other airlines to lease foreign-registered aircraft and ply new or more routes, Hotchkiss said,  “We’ll look into that concept but definitely right now that is for the airlines to try. We’ll see within our regulatory framework if that can be done.”

Wet lease is where one airline provides an aircraft, complete crew, maintenance and insurance to another airline, which pays by the number of hours it operates.

Under dry lease, an aircraft financing entity provides an aircraft without insurance, crew, ground staff, supporting equipment, maintenance, etc. Such lease can also be used by a major airline and a regional operator, in which the regional operator provides flight crew, maintenance and other operational aspects of the aircraft, which then may be operated under the major airline’s name or some similar name.

The Caap will not hire foreign consultants, which the ECCP suggested, if the aviation body wanted to reduce its waiting time to regain Category 1, from three years to one year.

According to Hubert d’Aboville, ECCP president, the Philippines now lags behind Indonesia, which was stricken off a blacklist after hiring foreign consultants.

Caap insiders said they were surprised to find out that in the wake of the ECCP letter to the transportation and tourism departments saying that the Philippines would be ignore by the international community if it did not upgrade the country’s civil aviation, the they were flooded with applications from foreign consultants, offering various forms of asssistance, but at a stiff price, to lift the Philippines from Category 2 status.

They, however, added that they were cautious not to resort to hiring them, fearing that they might not be able to “deliver” on their supposed expertise.

 

Source: Business Mirror; News; 26 July 2012

 

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