CAAP asks Japan, S.Korea to lift carrier restrictions
MANILA, Philippines - The government has asked air authorities in Japan and South Korea to lift the restrictions preventing Philippine carriers from expanding air operations in their respective jurisdictions now that the safety concerns raised by the International Civil Aviation Organization (Icao) have been removed.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) wrote separate letters to counterparts in Tokyo and Seoul asking for the lifting of restrictions that for many years prevented Philippine carriers such as Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines to expand services in those countries.
“The Philippines has successfully addressed and resolved the significant safety concerns [SSC] that were previously identified by the Icao-Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program,” the letter the Caap sent to South Korea’s director of the Office of Civil Aviation, Hye Ryong Yu, said.
The same letter was sent to Hirohishi Narahira, director of international transport at the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau.
“In view of this development, it is our candid view that this positive report of the Icao should pave the way for the prompt lifting/removal of any technical and economic restrictions that were imposed by the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau to Philippine carriers,” the Icao letter said.
The now-outdated Icao report cited 89 SSCs that prevented Philippine carriers to engage in expanded operations in the United States, across Europe and even in neighboring Japan or South Korea, where significant traffic to and from Manila were instead served by foreign carriers.
The Icao assessment effectively shut out local carriers from entering European airspace, prevented air expansion programs in the US and made it impossible for greater air travel to happen between Manila and some of the more lucrative destinations around Asia.