AsBAA’s efforts in Philippines recognised by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines



AsBAA, Asia’s non-profit representative body for the business and general aviation industry (BA/GA) has shared feedback from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines CAAP based upon the successful completion of its recent inaugural AsBAA Safety Day and Pilot’s Day. Further to the events, CAAP has confirmed that it recognises business aviation’s role in building the country’s economy.

CAAP, through Deputy Director General Captain Donaldo Mendoza, recognised the role of business aviation in “connecting our archipelagic country” as “for years, air travel has transported people and cargo to their destination in the safest and most efficient way”. Speaking at the Philippine Aviation Safety Day on November 13, Mendoza said many of the 85 airports across the country are serviced by general and business aviation operators “helping transport VVIPs and supporting industries such as oil and gas, mining, and agriculture, among others”.

Philippine airports scored 70.19% at the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Global Safety Audit, higher than the 64.85% global average. “This means our airports are performing safer than most and are adhering to global aviation safety practices”, said Mendoza, who said aviation regulators and operators are duty-bound to uphold safety and improve safety standards. For the general and business aviation sector, Mendoza said, “Creating and/or adopting a new set of regulations is a development that will not only modernise our policies but also ensure that organisations are meeting highly professional codes of safety practices”. He added, “As the country’s aviation industry continues to grow and become more lucrative, I believe that adopting a separate set of regulations for business and general aviation operations is a measure that will support this growth”.

Phil Balmer, AsBAA Vice Chairman, said “The value of business aviation is indirect, and therefore, hard to measure. Nonetheless, it affects communities and increases efficiency, hence, its vital role in business and humanitarian action.”

Kurt Edwards, Director General of the International Aviation Council (IBAC), explained that the International Standards for Business Aviation Operations (IS-BAO), launched in 2002 for aircraft operators, and the International Standards for Aviation Handling (IS-BAH), launched in 2014 for ground handlers, are voluntary standards adopted by those who want to improve performance and safety. They require the establishment of a Safety Management System, or systematic approach to managing safety, including the necessary organisational structures, accountabilities, policies, and procedures.

AsBAA’s Philippine Chapter is headed by Benjamin Lopez, President of INAEC Aviation Corporation. He said that, “As members of IBAC, AsBAA and all its chapters advocate the benefits of business and general aviation to the country and aim to uphold international standards for a better and safer business and general aviation industry. Adopting the standards of IS-BAO and IS-BAH through local regulations is a positive step towards that direction.”

Senator Grace Poe, Chair of the Committee on Public Services, also attended the event. Citing the recent incident on August 16, when a Xiamen Air Boeing 737 skidded off the NAIA main runway, she underscored the need to create a Transport Safety Board that can investigate incidents involving transportation, such as aircraft, railroads, pipelines, highways, and marine vessels.  On addressing the demand for alternative airports and the improvement of existing ones, she reported the filing of SBN 1440, creating the Philippine Airports Authority, which has the objectives of, among others, adopting internationally acceptable standards of airport accommodation and service and upgrading and providing safe, efficient and reliable airport facilities for domestic and international air travel. She also called for public-private sector partnerships to move the country forward in terms of infrastructure. She cited the Cebu Mactan International Airport as an example of how transparent public-private sector cooperation can result in necessary and welcome infrastructure in a relatively short period of time.

Congressman Cesar Sarmiento, Chairman of the House of Representative Committee on Transportation, through his representative, echoed Senator Poe’s call for better infrastructure, citing the need “to pursue and put in place an overall long-term aviation plan on the location, design and construction of airports and streamline the functions of existing and future aviation bodies,” including setting minimum standards for the operation and maintenance of aircraft and ensuring the convenience of passengers from booking until the completion of their flights.

Greg Wooldridge, former Commanding Officer of the Blue Angels of the US Navy, shared how to get to the top 1% of the industry, particularly in terms of aviation safety and performance. He encouraged his audience of pilots and aircraft operators to adopt the “Glad to be here” mindset to break down barriers and promote open communication among team members.

Meanwhile, Major General Allen T. Paredes, Chief of Air Staff, Philippine Air Force (PAF), talked about the operational readiness of the PAF to meet emergencies and threats.

Aviation Safety Day and Pilots’ Day, held on November 13-14, were made possible by the following sponsors: ACTSI, Embraer, Hawker Pacific (now a Jet Aviation company), the Malampaya Consortium Partners, AON, MedAire, Aerolink, Universal Weather and Aviation, Ascent Urban Air Mobility Inc., and Inaec Aviation Corp.

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