The Philippine Star

CAB re­fin­ing rules for chronic flight de­lays

- By RICH­MOND MER­CU­RIO Transportation · Industries · Cebu Pacific

The Civil Aero­nau­tics Board (CAB) is close to fi­nal­iz­ing the rules in deter­min­ing whether lo­cal air­lines are op­er­at­ing routes with chronic de­lays, which could re­sult in mone­tary fines for tardy car­ri­ers.

CAB ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Carmelo Ar­cilla said the guide­lines are cur­rently be­ing fine­tuned with the hope of is­su­ing it by Novem­ber.

“The guide­lines we will re­lease it maybe next month. We are still re­fin­ing,” he said.

“Not just be­cause one flight is de­layed then there will be a penalty al­ready. What we’re look­ing for is the over­all per­for­mance for a sig­nif­i­cant pe­riod of time. There is a pe­cu­niary penalty de­pend­ing on the scale,” Ar­cilla said.

Aside from mone­tary penal­ties, Ar­cilla said the air trans­port reg­u­la­tor might also re­quire that a par­tic­u­lar flight be cur­tailed if found hav­ing chronic de­lays.

“If it is caus­ing so much in­con­ve­nience there’s no rea­son for you to con­tinue it,” the CAB of­fi­cial said.

“On a daily ba­sis, for ex­am­ple, an air­line’s last flight is al­ways can­celled or al­ways de­layed so maybe there comes a point in time that you have to re­move that flight be­cause it is caus­ing in­con­ve­nience with the pub­lic. So it boils down to faulty plan­ning, that is the ba­sis of ac­tion for CAB,” he said.

The re­lease of the guide­lines is ex­pected to bol­ster gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts in im­prov­ing pas­sen­ger ser­vice and ad­dress­ing flight de­lays.

Last July, CAB or­dered all lo­cal car­ri­ers to sub­mit a monthly on-time per­for­mance (OTP) re­port which must con­tain the av­er­age of all daily flights per air­port of ori­gin.

The OTPs should be de­ter­mined by record­ing the time of de­par­ture and ar­rival.

The CAB said if the ac­tual de­par­ture or ar­rival time is up to 15 min­utes past the orig­i­nal sched­ule, then flight is con­sid­ered on time.

Cebu Pa­cific was ear­lier in­ves­ti­gated by the CAB af­ter can­celling a to­tal of 172 oneway do­mes­tic flights from April 28 to May 10, which is equiv­a­lent to about 14 flights a day, out of its more or less 400 daily do­mes­tic flights.

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