For Immediate Release

January 31, 2008
Contact: Les Dorr, Jr.
Phone: (202) 267-3883

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently found that the Philippines does not comply with international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The FAA had previously assessed the Philippines's civil aviation authority in September 2002, and found it in compliance with ICAO standards. However, after a consultation in November 2007, the agency determined that the Philippines was no longer overseeing the safety of its airlines in accordance with international standards.

The Philippines’s safety rating has been lowered from Category 1 to Category 2 under the agency’s International Aviation Safety Assessment program. A Category 1 rating means the country’s civil aviation authority complies with ICAO standards. 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 — equivalent to the FAA — is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping or inspection procedures.

The FAA will remain engaged with the civil aviation authority in the Philippines and will periodically review the situation to encourage improvements that will qualify the Philippines for a Category 1 rating.

As part of the IASA program, the agency assesses the civil aviation authorities of all countries with air carriers that operate to the United States and makes that information available to the public. The assessments determine whether or not foreign civil aviation authorities are meeting ICAO safety standards, not FAA regulations.

ICAO, the United Nations’ technical agency for aviation, establishes international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance.