Aviation safety standards in the Philippines.


New York (AirGuide - Inside Air Travel) The latest aviation disaster off the coast of Indonesia serves as a reminder to Philippine authorities to be more vigilant on air travel risks. It may also be the time to improve air regulations further and modernize ground equipment to make them at par with international standards. Indonesia AirAsia's Flight QZ8501, an Airbus A320-200 carrying 162 people, crashed into the sea Sunday en route from Surabaya in Indonesia's east Java to Singapore, after losing contact with air traffic controllers during bad weather. Air travel poses many risks, but some of these can be minimized by competent ground personnel in touch with the pilots and with modern airport facilities. The US Federal Aviation Authority on April last year restored the Philippines to category 1 aviation safety status after downgrading it to category 1 in January 2008. The US imposed the blacklist four years ago after the Philippines failed to comply with international safety standards. Regaining the category 1 status, however, does not fully guarantee that the Philippine aviation sector has fully met the minimum international standards compared with other countries with modern airport facilities. The Philippines, unfortunately, has one of the worst airport facilities in Asia alone. Its airport runways, while they can accommodate wide-bodied jets, are comparatively restrictive and the main cause of air traffic. Air...

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