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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        4  May 2011

Philippines open-skies policy issued

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The Philippines Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) on Tuesday approved rules allowing foreign carriers to fly in the Philippines under the Aquino administration’s “pocket open skies” policy.

Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Jose de Jesus said the implementing rules and regulations of Executive Order (EO) 29 will be issued today.

Earlier, President Benigno Aquino 3rd signed E0 29 to open up Philippine skies to foreign airlines specifically to airports other than the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The policy is designed to facilitate access to secondary airports and shall be liberally construed to favor grant of and/or increase in additional frequency/capacity and route rights.

According to the new policy, any foreign carrier intending to engage in international air transportation to any secondary gateway or to increase its frequencies or capacities and/or route rights, should file a petition for the grant of and/or increase of traffic rights over and above the limitations imposed by relevant Air Services Agreements in the operation of such services.

The new policy also holds that the CAB “in case of failure to reach mutual agreement to grant reciprocal rights to Philippine carriers within 12 months from the grant . . . may revoke the said grant.”

The CAB may continue to allow operations of traffic rights granted under EO 29 if the board “deems it to promote national interest and/or mutual benefits.”

Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific have opposed the new policy, as they want the same benefits from the governments of these foreign airlines.

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