Flights remain at Naia despite Taal, Mayon activity; Clark diversion unlikely — Caap
MANILA, Philippines —Recent heightened activities at Taal and Mayon volcanos have raised questions about potential flight diversions.
But the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) confirmed during a Laging Handa public briefing on Tuesday that planes are unlikely to be diverted to airports far from the affected areas at this time.
The Caap addressed concerns regarding sending and receiving flights at airports far from the two volcanos.
According to Caap spokesperson Eric Apolonio, based on their experience, they can guide aircraft to areas unaffected by volcanic ash.
“So far po, base sa mga dating ekperyensiya natin, hindi naman po nangyayari ito at pwede naman po kasing lumihis ‘yong ating mga flight path no’ng nasabing eroplano. Iga-guide naman po sila ng airport personnel dito sa tower kung saan sila pwedeng dumaan sa area na affected no’ng nasabing bulkan,” Apolonio said.
(Based on our experience, we did not have to divert flights; flights can move away from the volcanic ash. Airport personnel from the tower will guide them to where they can move, away from the volcano.)
“Meron na po tayong tinatawag na preparation dito. Actually, normal naman po itong mga volcano alert at taon-taon po, meron tayong nagiging eksperyensyang ganito, at binibigyan lang ho natin ng immediately ng paalala ang ating airline operator kung paano nila iha-handle itong nasabing issue,” he added.
(We have prepared for these situations. Actually, volcano alerts are expected, and every year, we have experiences like these, and we immediately give our airline operators some reminders on how they can handle these issues.)
If Alert Level 4 is raised over Taal volcano — or if it erupts — then flights at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) may be diverted to Clark International Airport.
“Malayo po ang Clark pero ang Naia po is mostly, baka ma-apektuhan (kung puputok) dahil napaka-delikado rin ho ‘yong tinatawag na volcanic ash doon sa mga aircraft, sa mga engine ng aircraft,” Apolonio said.
(Clark is far away, but Naia, primarily, may be affected (if Taal erupts) because it is hazardous for that which is called volcanic for the aircraft, to the engines of the aircraft.)
“Kaya talaga hong gina-guide namin sila kung saan sila pupwede lang dumaan dahil baka ma-ingest ‘yong nasabing volcanic ash, eh catastrophic po ang magiging resulta n’yan,” he added.
(That’s why we guide them as to where they can pass through because if volcanic ash gets ingested (by the aircraft engines), these would have catastrophic results.)
Caap on Monday issued a Notice to Airmen (Notam) to avoid both volcanoes and Kanlaon volcano on Negros Island.
Kanlaon, like Taal, is on Alert Level 1, while Mayon is currently on Alert Level 2.
Notam stated aircraft are not allowed to operate 10,000 feet above the surface of volcanoes.