WASHINGTON, D.C. – After six years, the Philippines has regained its Category 1 rating based on the recommendations from International Aviaition Safety Assessment (IASA), the Philippine Embassy announced. It came after the Philippines was downgraded to Category 2 in 2008 for failing to meet international aviation safety standards.
“Regaining Category 1 status has been one of our major economic diplomacy thrusts in the United States,” Ambassador Cuisia said. “ With the Category 1 rating, we hope to see the expansion of flight routes in the US by Philippine air carriers.
The Department of Foreign Affairs, through the Embassy in Washington, D.C., has been working closely with the FAA and coordinating with the Civilian Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to restore the country’s Category 1 status.
The Embassy said the upgrade also followed the meeting between Ambassador Cuisia and FAA Associate Administrator Margaret Giligan in early February, where the former underscored the Philippine Government’s commitment to aviation safety and sustainability as well as the efforts undertaken by the CAAP under the leadership of Director General William Hotchkiss to address FAA concerns.
In that meeting, Administrator Giligan noted the active engagement of the Philippine Government with the FAA to ensure compliance with aviation safety and standards, the Embassy added.
The Embassy noted that with this upgrade “more routes for business and tourism travel between the Philippines and the US as well as creatking more opportunities for Philippine and American business”. Philippine carriers may now initiate or continue service the U.S. in a normal manner and enter into code-share arrangements with American airlines.
A category 2 rating means a country either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards or that its civil aviation authority is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping or inspection procedures.