Palace: Chinese military plane only in Davao City to refuel
An IL-76 aircraft from the People's Liberation Army Air Force was spotted in Davao City airport last Friday.
Xinhua/Zhang Hengping

Palace: Chinese military plane only in Davao City to refuel

(Philstar.com) - June 10, 2018 - 6:27pm

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Sunday confirmed that a Chinese military airplane made a stop in Davao City and said it was only there to refuel.

Roque said the technical stop was confirmed in the records of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

"As verified and reported by CAAP, no movement of passengers was made outside the terminal building. The Chinese aircraft used a local handler, Transnational Aviation Support Service, to arrange the requirements for the permit," Roque said.

According to its website, Transnational Aviation Support Service "provides a full range of aviation support services that range from Passenger Handling, Ramp Handling, Load Control, Cargo and Mail, Line Maintenance, GSE Leasing and Maintenance, Airline Representation, [and] Executive and VIP services."

The presidential spokesman made the clarification after photos of a military transport plane landing in Davao International Airport last Friday circulated on social media on Saturday.

The aircraft was identified as an Ilyushin IL-76, a strategic airlifter first used by the Soviet Union in the early 1970s.

A report from The STAR stated that the IL-76 is designed to conduct tactical and strategic airlift missions, transport of troops and evacuation.

READ: Chinese military aircraft lands in Davao City?

Roque said that based on the permit granted, the aircraft was bound for Cairns in Australia.

He explained that the flight was given an entry and exit permit, like any other private flight.

Roque said that the same courtesy is extended to Philippine government aircraft when they need to make technical stops.

“Relevant government agencies closely coordinated for the aircraft’s refuelling, which followed established procedures,” Roque said.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Elmer Cato earlier said it would verify reports on the Chinese aircraft’s landing. He said the Intelligence and Security Unit of the department is in charge of the issuance of diplomatic clearances for all foreign military aircraft entering Philippine airspace. — Rosette Adel


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