CAAP's Hotchkiss on sought-after upgrade to Category 1: Its October or bust
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MANILA - The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) today said its US counterpart will upgrade Manila to Category 1 status by the start of the fourth quarter.
In his speech during the First Philippine Aviation Safety and Good Corporate Governance Symposium, CAAP Director-General William Hotchkiss III said a second visitation from the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) is ongoing and "all indications are positive towards a possible upgrade before the end of the year."
After his speech, Hotchkiss told reporters that the FAA will make a decision by October "whether the lifting will be done or not."
He however expressed optimism that the FAA will upgrade the Philippines from Category 2 because "we are already compliant at a certain degree, except that we have to do recurrent training for the inspectors."
In 2008, the FAA downgraded Manila to Category 2, preventing Philippine carriers from expanding in America.
Last July 10, the European Union (EU) lifted its ban on Philippine Airlines (PAL), allowing it to resume flights to European destinations after a three-year absence.
The lifting of the EU ban comes on the heels of the Philippines' removal from the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) roster of countries with significant safety concerns (SSCs).
PAL had said that it plans to fly to Paris, London, Rome and Amsterdam before the end of the year.