CAAP denies Puerto Princesa airport to reopen on June 10
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—Airport authorities here denied reports that commercial flights at the Puerto Princesa International Airport (PPIA) would resume on June 10.
Madel Espartero, spokesperson of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) in Puerto Princesa City, said in a phone interview on Wednesday (May 13) that the airport security and emergency committee meeting held on Tuesday (May 12) afternoon did not discuss any proposal to open the airport on June 10.
The meeting, Espartero said, was on a “new normal” scenario presented by the main CAAP office in Metro Manila.
“There was no proposal about June 10,” Espartero said.
“We depend and consider the capability of the local government unit (LGU). If they say they still can’t, then definitely no airline will cater flights,” Espartero said.
She said the advisory from CAAP head office was about flight restrictions with some exemptions from the inter-agency task force (IATF) on infectious diseases. The other issues, she said, were about compliance with CAAP requirements for airports.
Lawyer Arnel Pedrosa, Puerto Princesa City administrator, in a separate interview on Tuesday, stressed that the city government was against the reopening of PPIA for commercial flights.
“We are insisting that if flights will be allowed, they should get city’s consent. That is our position and I don’t know if the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will respect that,” Pedrosa said.
Mayor Lucilo Bayron wrote a letter to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on May 3 asking the DOTr to “seriously reconsider” the proposed resumption of commercial flights in Puerto Princesa.
Tugade had earlier proposed to reopen regional airports in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) to kickstart the tourism industry.
“We believe that it will be pointless to start commercial flights considering the fact that the inter-agency task force (IATF) guidelines still prohibit the operations of hotels, restaurants, and tourist destinations,” Bayron said in his letter.
At the start of enhanced community quarantine in Luzon on March 14, the CAAP suspended the operations of PPIA. It was supposed to lapse on June 10.
Edited by TSB
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