MANILA, Philippines—A senior official of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines died of a heart attack Saturday amid the agency’s preparations for a final audit by the International Civil Aviation Organization of the country’s aviation services.
Captain Francisco Juliano, 72, officer-in-charge of the CAAP’s flight operations department, which is under the flight standard and inspectorate service, suffered a heart attack at his office and was brought to the Villamor Air Base Hospital in Pasay City where he expired at around 1 p.m.
According to his executive assistant Wilma Caliste, Juliano reported early in the morning to prepare documents with his team in preparation for the start of the ICAO-Coordinated Validation Mission Department’s audit on the CAAP from February 18 to 28 this year.
In a statement, the CAAP said Juliano was an Ateneo de Manila University alumnus from grade school and was an aviation cadet of the Philippine Air Force in 1963. He was accepted as pilot of the Philippine Airlines in 1966, retiring in 1998.
He was appointed to CAAP in 2011. His department is responsible, among others for drafting and recommending amendments to regulations relating to aircraft operations; initially evaluating air operator certificate applications; flight checking and evaluation of flight crew and flight examiners; aircraft cabin safety inspection and surveillance; and surveillance of general aviation operations, aerial works and transport of dangerous goods by air.
CAAP director general William Hotchkiss III, as well as other officials and employees of the agency have extended their condolences to Juliano’s family.
The Philippines was downgraded to Category 2 status by the United States Federal Aviation Authority in 2007 because the CAAP’s predecessor, the Air Transportation Office, which was responsible for implementing policies on Philippine civil aviation, committed lapses on safety issues established by ICAO and lacked qualified personnel regulatory oversight.
The CAAP said it has addressed all issues and that the Philippine aviation was now fully compliant with the safety standards of the ICAO. The agency said it hoped the results of the final audit would bring back the Philippine’s to its original Category 1 status so that the sanctions imposed by the US-FAA on Philippine air carriers would be lifted.