MIAA to meet with airlines execs over NAIA arrangements for Pope Francis’ visit
MANILA, Philippines – Top officials of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) will meet representatives of all airlines on Wednesday morning to finalize measures to be taken in preparation for the visit of Pope Francis.
Some 423 international and domestic flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport will be affected since commercial aircraft will not be allowed to land at the NAIA during the pope’s arrival and departure on January 15 and 19, according to Vicente Guerzon, assistant general manager for security and emergency services of the MIAA.
Around 60,000 passengers would be affected by the NAIA closure, Guerzon said.
All the NAIA terminals are closed to arriving flights from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on January 15 for Pope Francis’ arrival and 6 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on January 19 for his departure.
Since roads will be closed around the NAIA complex on these hours, the MIAA, which runs the NAIA, will set up a staging area for all the departing passengers with flights at the Terminal 3 and 4 on those days.
The staging area will be located at the Parking B of the NAIA 1 where passengers will be shuttled to NAIA 3 and 4 through the airport’s airside.
NAIA Terminal 3 and 4 will be isolated since the entire stretch beginning from Sales Avenue fronting Terminal 3 all the way to the Domestic Road fronting Terminal 4 will be closed and will not be accessible to all vehicles.
The MIAA will also close NAIA Terminal 3 arrival and departure lobbies to non-passengers during the entire day on January 15 and from 12 midnight to 12 noon on January 19.
Passengers are advised to travel to the airport way ahead before the roads within the NAIA complex start to close at 3 p.m. on January 15 and at 7 a.m. on January 19.
On these days, the NAIA Complex will only be accessible via South Superhighway through Bicutan, Alabang and Sucat Roads.
Guerzon said on Wednesday at the final consultative meeting of MIAA with the airlines, adjustments to be made by the airlines would likewise be discussed.
“The options for the airlines with flights affected during these given hours were to either divert, cancel their flights, or wait at their point of origin,” Guerzon said.
Cebu Pacific Air and TigerAir have announced the cancellations of more than 200 domestic and international flights in light of the papal visit and advised their passengers to rebook their flights within 30 days from their original departure date or ask for a refund.
Cathay Pacific Airways, on the other hand, announced on Tuesday a revised flight schedule from January 15 to 19 and cancellation of Hong Kong-Manila- Hong Kong flights CX 913 and CX 912 on January 18 and 19.