NAIA reopens for int’l chartered, commercial flights with homebound Filipinos
Marje Pelayo • May 11, 2020 • 854
MANILA, Philippines — The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has opened for inbound international chartered and commercial flights on Monday (May 11).
The resumption of operations, however, is only limited to overseas Filipinos who are returning home to the Philippines, clarified the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).
CAAP added that foreign tourists and non-residents remain restricted from entering the country except for diplomats and heads or members of international missions.
“Itong in-issue ng Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines na Notice to Airmen is only starting today hanggang June 10 but it doesn’t mean na hanggang June 10 ito (The CAAP-issued Notice to Airmen is only starting today until June 10, but it doesn’t mean it’s only up to June 10),” noted CAAP Spokesperson Eric Apolonio.
“Depende ito sa sitwasyon. Kung mag-i-improve naman, baka mag-relax iyong restrictions ng arrivals ng international flights sa airport (It will depend on the situation. If it improves, we may relax restrictions on international flight arrivals in the airport),” he added.
Inbound international chartered flights will only be allowed to land at NAIA on Mondays and Thursdays provided that they secure a clearance from CAAP and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
International commercial flights, meanwhile, are allowed during Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Such scheduling of flights is needed as NAIA, for now, can only accommodate 400 passengers a day so as to maintain strict physical distancing protocols and to comply with the rules imposed by the National Task Force Against COVID-19 in the conduct of COVID-19 testing and other procedures on all arriving passengers in NAIA.
Commercial flights, however, must get the approval of CAAP within 48 hours prior to its take off from point of origin.
If the flight is coming from countries with high incidence of COVID-19 infection, the permission to allow them to proceed will depend on the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) as the overall in charge of the national government’s response on the global pandemic.
CAAP reiterates that social distancing protocols will always be observed in every flight. MNP (with details from Asher Cadapan Jr.)
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the provincial government of Cebu to adhere to the COVID-19 testing and quarantine protocols set by the national government for returning overseas Filipinos, Malacañang said Monday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the announcement after the memorandum from Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on the diversion of Cebu-bound flights to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) lapsed on June 12.
“From the Office of the Executive Secretary, the President has decided that the IATF protocols must be implemented by the Cebu province,” Roque said during his regular online briefing.
“The President has also considered the DOH critique and has decided that Cebu province must abide by IATF arrival protocols,” he added.
Cebu had been administering RT-PCR tests on returning nationals upon their arrival at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
This is contrary to the IATF protocols, which require arriving Filipinos to undergo quarantine in a government-accredited facility for 10 days and take an RT-PCR test on the seventh day of their arrival.
“The last extension was just a preparation for full implementation of that decision,” Roque said, pertaining to Medialdea’s order to extend the diversion of flights bound for Cebu to NAIA, which was in effect from June 5 to 12.
Roque, however, leaves to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) the decision on what measure to take should Cebu continue to defy the national government’s protocol.
Duterte earlier met with Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia to discuss quarantine protocols.
MANILA, Philippines – The diversion to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) of international flights bound for the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) will be extended to June 12, Malacañang announced on Tuesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the office of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea has issued a memo extending the flight diversion “until 23:59 hours of June 12.”
Roque said this is to provide ample time for authorities to thresh out Cebu Province’s COVID-19 protocols for returning Filipinos, which differs from the directives issued by the national government.
International flights for MCIA were initially redirected to NAIA from May 29 to June 5.
“Ito po’y para maayos yung pag-implement ng IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) arrival protocol sa Cebu,” Roque said in a media briefing.
The Cebu government requires passengers to undergo a test upon arrival at the airport while the IATF requires screening of passengers on the 7th day of their quarantine.
President Rodrigo Duterte last week met with Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia to discuss this difference.
Roque expects the Cebu government to comply with the specific protocols mandated by the IATF after the flight diversion period ends.
“Upon resumption of flights to Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the travel and testing protocols approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases will be fully and seamlessly implemented,” Roque said, reading from the memo.
“Inaasahan po natin that on the 13th of June, the IATF protocols on arriving OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) and OFs (overseas Filipinos) will be implemented in Cebu. Yan po ay according to the memorandum issued by the executive secretary dated 5 of June 2021,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
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