CAAP vows unhampered passenger, cargo flights

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has vowed that passenger and cargo flights allowed under the community quarantine guidelines will be unhampered across the airports it manages and operates.

CAAP said it has been steadily maintaining operations in the airports it manages nationwide to ensure that passenger and cargo flights allowed under the guidelines are able to land and fly.

In coordination with local government units and airlines, CAAP-operated airports such as the gateways in Busuanga, Laguindingan, Butuan, General Santos, Zamboanga, Dipolog, and Bohol-Panglao continue to launch sweeper flights to assist and transport stranded overseas Filipino workers and foreign passengers in international airports where they can board flights to their international destinations.

As of March 28, CAAP said a total of 367 sweeper flights have flown to and from its regional airports.

“The sweeper flights, catered to by the remaining personnel stationed at CAAP airports, serve as the frontliners of aviation at this difficult time,” the agency said.

“With the help of CAAP frontliners such as the airport cleaners, firefighters, medical staff, security personnel, ground staff, and air traffic operators, operations in the country’s regional commercial airports are unhampered and passengers and cargo remain to be serviced,” it said.

CAAP said it has enforced tighter measures in the airports pursuant to the restrictions placed by community quarantines imposed by both the national and local governments in order to suppress the spread of COVID-19.

But with protective gear reaching its limit, CAAP said several airport frontliners have implemented their own efforts to help protect themselves from getting infected by the virus by producing their own face shields.

“We all know how this is affecting the aviation industry, but united and with the resiliency that I have seen in our frontliners, I know that we will get through this,” CAAP director general Jim Sydiongco said.

“As we persevere to maintain orderliness in our operations each day, I am proud and comforted by the fact that we have fronliners bravely serving the Filipino people,” Sydiongco said.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has already closed Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminals 2, 3 and 4 and has moved all flights to Terminal 1 since Saturday.

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