Roxas: Philippine aviation industry 'safe'-A A +A
Thursday, August 23, 2012
TRANSPORTATION Secretary Manuel Roxas II said that despite the tragic death of Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo in a plane crash last Saturday, the Philippine aviation industry is "relatively safe."
"The aviation industry is relatively safe. This is a tragedy, a big personal loss but this does not mean that the airline industry is not safe,” Roxas said Thursday.
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has ordered the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) to conduct an investigation on the crash last August 18, which also resulted in death of pilot Jessup Bahinting and Nepalese co-pilot Kshitz Chand.
Roxas said Caap may invite Robredo's security aide, Police Senior Inspector June Paolo Abrazado, who was the lone survivor in the plane crash.
Caap is already gathering pieces of evidence from airplane to tower communication, the cell phone communication of the passengers, and circumstances that led the pilot to decide to land in Masbate airport instead of returning to Cebu, the DOTC official added.
"This will be comprehensive and exhaustive but this is not analysis by paralysis. We will find out what happened to strengthen the safety regulations," Roxas told reporters during the House panel deliberations on his agency's 2013 budget.
Caap director general William Hotchkiss III earlier said that they may send the aircraft's engine overseas for investigation.
Operations of Aviatour Air Inc., the owner of the Piper Seneca plane that crashed off the waters of Masbate, meanwhile, have been suspended.
The flying school's permit to operate has already been suspended early this year after its Cessna 172 crashed in Mambajao, Camiguin, killing the pilot and one of the Norwegian passengers.
"That investigation is not yet over and that will be included in the investigation in the recent crash," Roxas said. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)