FAA confirms upgrade of Philippines' safety rating

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The US FAA has confirmed that it has awarded the Philippines' aviation industry with a Category I safety rating.

The agency says that "…the Philippines has been reassessed and now complies with international safety standards".

The Philippines was downgraded to a Category II 'conditional' rating in July 1995, at which time the FAA said the country did not meet minimum safety standards set by ICAO.

The Category II rating restricted the US operations of Philippine Airlines (PAL), requiring the flag carrier to wet-lease aircraft from Category I-rated countries on new or amended services. PAL was a vocal opponent of the Category II status, saying it caused it huge losses on US operations.