June 29, 2009

CAAP doesn't solve problem

(CAAP Director-General Ruben Ciron is the man who holds your life in his hands whenever you fly in the Philippines. Photo from CAAP web site.)

WRITTEN on the web site of the newly-formed Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), is its mission, foremost of which is "to provide safe and reliable air transport system and regulatory services, as well as promote the economic viability, develop and regulate the technical. operational, safety and security functions of civil aviation."

But the agency, headed by retired General Ruben F. Ciron, is turning out a bit as inutile as its predecessor, the Air Transportation Office (not the Civil Aeronautics Board as I earlier mentioned). In reaction to the most recent accident of Zest Airways where its Chinese-made MA-60 plane overshot the runway at the Caticlan Airport, instead of grounding the carrier and these planes, it decides to penalize other more professional and efficient airlines instead, by banning two-way traffic at the airport. Click here for the story.

Here's a video at the accident site on June 25, 2009:

Like many government regulations, this is another limp-wristed reaction to a severe problem that has been plaguing Philippine aviation industry – the lack of real a credible regulatory body that would actually protect the traveling public from careless carriers like Zest Air. CAAP should address the issue of Zest Air's use of these Chinese-made planes w/c I repeat, has not even been certified as airworthy by the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority. Sure the carrier's not going to fly to the U.S., but isn't the Philippine government supposed to promote the use of international regulations and airworthy standards in the country? After all, even our airports' safety is rated by the FAA.

So what is CAAP waiting for them to actually address this Zest Air problem? That another crash happens and passengers die? (Knock on wood!)

This is a video of another MA-60 of Zest Air which undershot the Caticlan runway in Jan. 2009:

Btw in a web site of worldwide aircraft disasters, there is only one crash on record of the MA-60, and that distinction belongs to Zest Air. (It hasn't been updated yet for the last Thursday's crash.) So obviously, that plane wasn't made for the short and rough Caticlan runway. Indeed, there are some extremely brilliant people on Zest Air's staff who don't know sh** about planes and Philippine runways. I know who they are but let's see if Gen. Giron can guess da who.

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BTW, I checked the background of Gen. Giron, and he did lead a colorful life apparently. Accdg. to several sources he is an "Enrile boy" just like Gringo Honasan and Red Kapunan and played a prominent role in the People Power revolution of 1986. A former officer of the Philippine Air Force, Giron's wife reportedly "stopped Gen. Tadiar from bombarding Enrile and Ramos in Camp Aguinaldo" during the People Power revolution in 1986." Giron was a member of the military advisory council of the presidentita when she became concurrent secretary of defense.

With such a background, let's hope he implements more courageous regulations to protect the flying public.


Anonymous said...

fierce! luv it siz! fight! haha.

Stella Arnaldo said...

Thanks siz. Kairita kasi. Di titigil itong mga to until marami madisgrasya.

Anonymous said...

Spot on! One fact: It's the same co-pilot in both crashes.

been following these "brand new" MA60s. There's news on one of them in Indonesia:


By the way, one correction: CAAP replaced the old ATO (Air Transportation Office). The CAB is still alive.

More power!

Stella Arnaldo said...

Thanks for the correction Anonymous 9:52 pm. I updated my blog entry to reflect it.

And thanks for this bit of info on the MA-60.

mesaid said...

well said, I like you! you are feisty! Mala Gabriela Silang!! laveeet!
Ciron was placed in the position coz he was the aide of Sen. Enrile for 14years. For crying out loud, what does a ret. military man know about our aviation system! and by the way REd Kapunan is also one of the Directors of CAAP. tagal nang problem yang runway ng Caticlan airport, masyadong maikli.
in my opinion, its a pilot error, but more than anything else, it just shows that the agency per se does not give a damn to the air travelers, dami nang accident dyan pati ilaw kulang ang runway. hhaaayyy....

Stella Arnaldo said...

Thanks mesaid. I like you too! :) Apparently Ciron was w/ the airforce so ergo, aviation expert haha. Whoa, Red Kapunan is also w/ CAAP? Another blast from the past!

Yeah, the runway's short but that's exactly why airlines should choose the right kind of plane w/ STOL (short takeoff and landing) features. Definitely the MA-60 doesn't appear to be one as can be seen w/ Zest Air's recent accidents.

Baka you have more chismis at CAAP, tell me :) Thanks for your comment, and drop by again soon.

mesaid said...

CAAP stands for si Ciron Ang Aming Panginoon!! hahahhahah. did you hear about the Php14M enlightenment program! di ba pamatay! and inline with that he is trying to build some Chaplain in all the airports in the PHils, pagkakaalam ko military installation lang ang meron nun. and will that not violate the separation of power of the church and the state? di ba if ever na gagawin nya yun dapat lahat ng relihiyon merong simbahan sa loob ng mga airport! kalurkey!

Nakaw sasakay pa naman ako ng Zest Air this weekend I called the agent and asked what type of plane will I use, sa Awa ng Diyos A320 naman daw yung malaki! but of course i apologized after my query!hahhahah.

daming chixmax dyan sa CAAP, they are infested by around 180 consultants all ret mil man, meron pang 2 directors ng agency ng govt na dapat impartial sila pero they are receiving per diem from the agency. mababait lang talaga ang mga tao dyan dahil understandable naman bec of their livelihood, pero come to think of it, kaya magulo ang bansa natin dahil lahat passive, ingay lang ng ingay wala namang ginagawa hehe.

if Ciron who is a ret airforceman is considered an aviation expert albeit can head the Aviation Industry! a mere law grad can head the SC! di ba! bwahahahhahha. theory of Equity and Justice!!!! harharhar!

Anonymous said...

Hi Stella,it is good to know that we have good individual like you who have the courage to voice out your opinion.It's really sad to see that the government is not doing anything about the CAAP situation.Imagine an aviation authority of the Philippines is in disarray! It's really scary.One of the things that I observed when I was there is that the most of the people who are working really hard are the J.O.(contractual workers)receiving php.301/day and Mr.Ciron hiring consultant who are paid php.18,000/month and yet this so called J.O.are more knowledgeable than these so called consultant kuno. I hope that someday their eyes will be open and look into this matter.These people have been there forever and even have family.I believe that this is one of the problem and when these J.O. are absent the organic or consultant are lost.
Kaawaawa talaga sila kasi yung suweldo nila palaging delay pa!

Stella Arnaldo said...

Thanks for the info, mesaid and anonymous 11:29 am. If you have any documents on these issues, I'd appreciate a send. You can leave your email addresses here or other contact details (I won't publish them) so I can be in touch directly.

Anonymous said...

Good Day Mam,
Its been almost 8 months since you posted your blog and a lot of things had happened in CAAP. There is now set of employee's union officers to expose all the management's wrongdoing. So please continue to fight for the sake of 4 thousand plus CAAP employees like me...