This is from the Daily Tribune. This is just part of the article. The firing is not surprising. The ATO should have realised the problems within the air industry and taken action earlier. The problems seem to be more than just technical issues. The government must ultimately share part of the blame. No doubt some will blame the FAA since the decision will help US airlines.
Malacañang yesterday sacked Air Transportation Office (ATO) chief Daniel Dimagiba following the downgrading by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the Philippine ratings from Cate-gory 1 to Category 2.
Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said President Arroyo has designated Trans-portation Secretary Leandro Mendoza to head the ATO.
“The President has designated Secretary Mendoza as concurrent officer-in-charge of ATO,” he added.
The Palace official said the President has given Mendoza three months to address administrative and
technical concerns raised by the US FAA.
“The President gave him (Mendoza) a three-month deadline to comply with FAA/ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) requirements, which are mostly administrative and technical in nature,” Bunye stressed.
He added “the issues involved here are merely technicalities and documentation and do not concern issues on safety.”
The FAA included in a Jan. 8 report the Philippines in a list of 21 countries that failed to “provide safety oversight of its air carrier operators in accordance with the minimum safety oversight standards established by ICAO.”
Category 2 means the US FAA has assessed the Philippines’ aviation as not being in compliance with ICAO.
Among the FAA’s concerns were the outdated aviation regulations, poor training programs for safety inspectors and sub-standard licensing for air frame and engine inspectors.
Mendoza, meanwhile, also yesterday vowed to cooperate in the Senate investigation as he tasked agencies involved to appear before the hearing.