Korean Airlines (KAL) flight 631 runway excursion at Mactan-Cebu International Airport on late Sunday evening

THE Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said it supports a new law that will transfer its aircraft incident investigation functions to a specialist agency.

CAAP spokesman Eric B. Apolonio said by telephone that it is improper for the regulator to be in charge of Philippine airspace while also being responsible for investigating aircraft incidents.

“It should be separated. We can create something like the one in the US, the National Transport Safety Board (NTSB), so that if there are violations (committed by) CAAP, it is the NTSB who will run the investigation, not the CAAP itself,” he said.

CAAP management has received an expression of support for its proposal from Senator Rafael T. Tulfo in its “desire to separate the aircraft investigation function from the rest of the Authority, as this is a continuing safety observation from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).”

CAAP said Mr. Tulfo also pledged support for funding the regulator’s plans to procure rescue aircraft, firetrucks, and measures to address bird strike risk.

“The CAAP is pleased to hear Mr. Tulfo’s enthusiastic support for the programs and goals of CAAP,” CAAP Director General Manuel Antonio L. Tamayo said.

“Being both a regulator and operator of most airports in the country, we truly appreciate and welcome the senator’s endorsement and help in achieving the mission of developing and improving the state of the country’s aviation sector,” he added. — Justine Irish D. Tabile