DND to check safety record of aircraft bidding firm | Inquirer News
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DND to check safety record of aircraft bidding firm

/ 07:24 PM January 21, 2014

MANILA, Philippines–As reports of the fatal plane crash involving the Spanish aircraft maker that is bidding for the Philippine Air Force’s medium lift fixed-wing aircraft, the Department of National Defense assured the public it would look into the reports.

“So what is more important is the examination of the causes of the fatal accidents whether these accidents were caused by human error or failure of equipment itself to perform…At present Mr. Chairman, we cannot offer any conclusion for the moment except that we will continue to verify the accidents which involved the C295,” Patrick Velez, assistant secretary of acquisition installation and logistics, said over a meeting of the DND Bids and Awards Committee held at Camp Aguinaldo on Tuesday.

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Last week, the EADS CASA C295 became the lone eligible bidder for the three medium fixed light wing planes needed by PAF. The firm’s offer reached P5.288 billion, less than the approved defense budget of P5.3 billion.

Reports of a plane crash in Poland in 2008 which killed 20 people came out in local news after EADS CASA was declared the eligible bidder. This prompted the airbus to write to DND, explaining in a sworn statement that the plane crash was caused by human error.

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Undersecretary and Chairman of the Bids and Awards Committee Fernando Manalo said that if EADS CASA was found lying then the contract may be cancelled.

In 2012, the Polish Air Force ordered additional C295 planes showing confidence with the safety and effectiveness of the C295, Velez quoted the letter as saying.

The DND will push through with the post-qualification stage. A team will go to Spain for a week in early February to evaluate the planes. If all turns out well and the bidder passed the standards the DND set, the process of the contract, including the notice of award, could be finished in less than a month. The delivery of the first plane would be in August 2015.

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TAGS: aircraft, Department of National Defense, DND, News, Philippine Air Force
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