The Philippines is in the middle of working to restore its top aviation safety rating at the Aquino International Airport, which was lost four years ago after an FAA review. The inspectors found multiple discrepancies with the country's aviation safety infrastructure, and the result was the country being downgraded to a Category 2. This meant that the CAAP was not providing proper oversight of its air-carrier operators in accordance with the safety standards established by the ICAO. A team from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) recently returned from a visit to the U.S. after discussing with the FAA the work that has been done to correct the safety issues.
One of the 23 issues that the FAA inspectors found related to building heights near the airport. The Business Mirror reports that a decade ago, at the height of the building boom, many tall structures went up in defiance of the limitation set by aviation authorities. Some of the buildings were reduced in size while others paid hefty penalties rather than remove floors. At the time, the Air Transportation Office revised its landing patterns to accommodate the taller buildings according to the CAAP's chief of Airport Development and Management Service. The CAAP issued a 150ft height limit on buildings within a five mile radius from the end of Runway 13. The approach ends of runways 6 and 24 have similar restrictions.
A few sources suggested that a purchase of Boeing aircraft by national flag carrier Philippine Airlines might help convince the FAA to give the airport a positive grade. Similarly, the Department of Transportation and Communications could move ahead with its plan to purchase millions of dollars in radar equipment for Aquino International Airport.