Pilot fined P20K for flying helicopter in NAIA’s restricted zone
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has fined a pilot with P20,000 for flying a helicopter two months ago over a restricted area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
CAAP director general William Hotchkiss III ordered Capt. Geovanni Paz to pay the penalty after he was found to have violated a provision of aviation regulations when he flew a Robinson R44 type helicopter over the NAIA’s General Aviation Area, a place where aircraft maneuvers have been prohibited.
In documents obtained by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Paz was investigated by CAAP after July 16, when, at around 3 p.m., he was seen making a series of maneuvers in his helicopter over the taxi way between the Delta Air and Asian Aerospace hangars.
“This was reported in both printed media and televised news that reached the office of the director general, personnel licensing office,” according to a report from the CAAP flight standards inspectorate service (FSIS).
CAAP said Paz’s act, violated an airport safety rule, which stated: “All operators of general aviation aircraft are prohibited from conducting engine run-ups in the vicinity of their respective hangars. Engine run-ups should be undertaken in the run-up area of runway 31, holding bays and start-up areas with prior clearance from domestic ramp control.”
The CAAP-FSIS investigators found that Paz did not know that helicopter maneuvers were not allowed in the area. The pilot, the investigators noted, also apologized for the violation.
Hotchkiss said Paz’s act constituted “negligent and reckless operations of the aircraft” violating the Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations and posing a risk to the life and property of others.
In his resolution, released on August 20 and addressed to Paz, Hotchkiss pointed out, “Upon investigation and through your own admission, it was established that you were the pilot-in-command of the subject aircraft.”
“Thus… a fine in the amount of P20,000 is hereby imposed against you, which must be paid to this authority not less than 10 days from receipt of this letter,” the CAAP official ruled, adding that failure to pay the fine would prompt Hotchkiss to impose a lien on the aircraft and machinery.
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