The air space around the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) will be declared a “no fly zone” during the visit of US President Barack Obama next week.
That means commercial and cargo flights to and from Naia will face delays when Obama arrives on Monday and leaves on Tuesday, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said in the notice-to-airmen (Notam) it released on Friday.
Passenger and cargo flights will be held off to clear the airport for the arrival of the US presidential plane, Air Force One.
CAAP said the no fly zone covers from 21 nautical miles to 40 nautical miles from the Manila approach to Naia.
CAAP Deputy Director General John Andrews said all aircraft arriving and departing at the airport’s four terminals on that date will encounter delays.
Obama arrived in Seoul on Friday to growing signs thatb North Korea was defiantly readying another nuclear test, and with South Koreans in a state of national mourning over the sinking of a ferry full of schoolchildren.
He landed at a US Air Force base outside the capital of a South Korea still wracked with grief over the 300 people dead or missing more than a week after the disaster.
Obama is expected to offer personal condolences to his counterpart Park Geun-Hye over the tragedy but the South’s unpredictable northern neighbor is set to dominate the agenda.
Satellite photos taken just two days ago showed additional activity at North Korea’s Punggye-ri test site that is “probably related to preparations for a detonation,” the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said.
The report echoed recent warnings from South Korea that the North might be planning a test to coincide with Obama’s two-day visit.
If Pyongyang pressed ahead with its fourth nuclear test, it would be a clear challenge to Obama’s bid to cement America’s role as a Pacific power.
His four-nation Asian tour began in Tokyo, where he urged China to rein in its wayward ally, saying Beijing had a “critically important” role to play in defusing tensions on the volatile peninsula.
Obama also said the Japanese wartime system of sex slavery was a “terrible” violation of human rights.
“This was a terrible, egregious violation of human rights. Those women were violated in ways that even in the midst of war were shocking,” he added.
“And they deserve to be heard, they deserve to be respected. And there should be an accurate and clear account of what happened.
“I think [Japanese] Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe recognizes this and certainly the Japanese people recognize that the past is something that has to be recognized honestly and fairly.”
South Korea and other nations, including the Philippines, accuse Japan of failing sufficiently to atone for the forced recruitment of so-called “comfort women” to service its troops before and during World War II.
The issue remains a major irritant in relations between Tokyo and Seoul.
Obama said the two nations must find a way to move on.