Philippine Airlines Flights Safety - The Bedrock of PAL’s Operations
Philippine Airlines is gravely concerned over the recent decision of the European Commission (EC) banning all Philippine carriers from operating in member-states of the European Union (EU).
Despite the unfortunate inclusion of PAL and all other local carriers in the EC blacklist – which is a direct consequence of the downgrade of the Philippine government’s aviation safety rating – PAL would like to assure the riding public that safety remains the bedrock of PAL’s operations.
It has always been the flag carrier’s policy to ensure that its passengers fly with the full assurance of safety and comfort.
PAL laments that the EC decision came about notwithstanding PAL’s safety record, as borne out by its compliance with internationally accepted safety standards, including the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) and audits by major foreign aviation regulatory authorities. For four consecutive years since 2006, PAL is the only IOSA-certified Philippine carrier.
Two recent events led to the inclusion of Philippine carriers in the EC ban, namely: 1) the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) decision in January 2008 downgrading the Philippines’ safety rating to Category 2; and 2) the “significant safety concern” findings by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in November 2009 against Philippine aviation safety regulators.
But despite the Philippines’ Category 2 rating, it must be noted that the U.S. FAA continues to allow Philippine Airlines flights to operate up to 33 regular weekly flights from the Philippines to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, Las Vegas and Guam. PAL safely flies thousands of passengers, including U.S. citizens, across the Pacific Ocean on a regular and reliable basis in compliance with stringent U.S. safety regulations.
PAL welcomes the EC air safety committee’s decision to visit the Philippines so that aside from Philippine aviation regulators, it can also inspect and audit local carriers. PAL is prepared for such audit and is confident that EC inspectors will find a picture of PAL as a world-class carrier of uncompromising professionalism and efficiency.
PAL is also ready and willing to lend a hand to the CAAP especially its new Director General Alfonso Cusi, as the agency strives to professionalize its ranks and regain its international safety rating.
Since 2006, Philippine Airlines flights have been in compliance with IOSA. The IOSA program, which is ISO 9001:2000 certified, is a rigorous audit focusing on the entire operational management and control systems of an airline in promoting safety, based on internationally recognized standards and supported by a strict quality assurance process.
These IOSA standards are derived from relevant ICAO guidelines, in particular, Annexes 1, 6 and 8, as well as from the regulations of the U.S. FAA and the Joint Aviation Authorities of Europe (JAA), as well as industry best practices. Moreover, regular maintenance of the PAL fleet is undertaken by Lufthansa Technik Philippines, a subsidiary of Lufthansa Technik AG of Germany, the world’s leading provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul services for commercial aircraft, engines and components.
As an added assurance, Philippine Airlines Flights internal Safety Management System is comprised of the following elements:
* Safety Policy and Objectives spells out PAL management’s commitment to safety and the continuous improvement of the system; * Safety Risk Management outlines how hazards and their underlying risks are identified through the use of simple to sophisticated tools, and where measures are formulated to mitigate these risks;
* Safety Assurance outlines how quality- and safety-assurance methods such as audits and inspections are regularly conducted to verify compliance to standards and regulations; and
* Safety Promotion outlines how safety is inculcated in the minds of all PAL staff from the day they are hired until their retirement. ( Philippine Airlines Flights )