MANILA – The government of the Philippines said on Thursday that it will abolish the state agency responsible for aerospace development for not having manufactured a single useful aircraft in its almost 45 years of operation.
“They are supposed to design a plane. It’s been 45 years already and they have not designed a plane yet,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said after announcing the decision to abolish the Philippine Aerospace Development Corp (PADC).
Founded in 1973, the PADC is a state agency with the aim of undertaking “business and development activities for the establishment of a reliable aviation and aerospace industry,” according to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.
To fulfill this task, the aerospace agency is responsible for the “design, assembly, manufacture and sale of all forms of aircraft” and the development of “local capabilities in maintenance, repair, overhaul, and modification of aerospace and associated flight and ground equipment.”
The finance secretary explained that the decision to abolish the PADC is part of a plan by President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration to cut the number of state enterprises to fewer than 90.
In the 1980s, the aerospace agency participated in the creation of the first and only prototype of a Philippine light aircraft, the PADC Defiant 300.
With a fuselage made of wood and fiberglass and a Lycoming engine of 300 horsepower, the PADC Defiant 300 made a test flight in 1987, although the project was finally abandoned due to lack of state funding.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the PADC also developed the PADC Hummingbird helicopter prototype, which was considered a copy of Eurocopter’s MBB Bo 105, but the project was also discarded as too lengthy and expensive.