|Amb. Bataclan meets EU Air Safety Official|
Brussels, 2 December 2011 - Ambassador Victoria S. Bataclan, Head of the Philippine Mission to the European Union (EU) met today Mr. Matthew Baldwin, Director for Air Transport of the European Commission's Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DGMOVE) and discussed with him the current EU ban on Philippine air carriers.
"I assured the EU that our civil aviation authority is undertaking the necessary corrective actions to address the safety concerns. There are serious implications of the EU ban on our air carriers to the Philippine economy, especially our tourism industry" remarked Ambassador Bataclan.
The Philippine Ambassador also updated Mr. Baldwin of the Philippine government's efforts in addressing the safety concerns of the US Federal Aviation Agency (USFAA) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and that their audit inspections in the country may push through early next year.
Mr. Baldwin conveyed EU's concerns for the civil aviation authority to get qualified technical inspectors and personnel and for the agency to fully implement the safety reforms as well as the new civil aviation regulations. EU has previously raised concerns on the issuance of air operators certificates, hiring of technical experts and the significant safety issues of the USFAA and the ICAO.
Ambassador Bataclan and Mr. Baldwin promised to update each other of developments and maintain an open channel of communication with a view to resolving the issue soonest and for the Philippines to be de-listed from the EU ban on air carriers. Both officials noted the mutual interest of the Philippines and EU in ensuring the safety of air carriers being used by their nationals.
The EU decided to blacklist the Philippines and its air carriers on 19 March 2010 following inspections conducted by EU experts on the Philippines' conduct of effective operational and certification of air carriers.