THERE will be no flight cancellations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) when Manila hosts the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Leaders Meeting on November 10 to 15, Director General Marciano Paynor, Jr. of the Asean National Organizing Council said Tuesday.
“All arrivals and departures, in principle, will be in Clark Airport. This [decision]is [based]on the directive of the President [Rodrigo Duterte] that no commercial traffic must be affected at the Manila International Airport,” Paynor said, referring to NAIA.
Paynor said the government wanted to avoid the situation in 2015 when the Philippines hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. Close to 450 flights were cancelled at the NAIA on top of about 200 affected flights because protocol dictated that a quasi-emergency state must be declared, meaning there should be no aircraft movement within 30 minutes to one hour, every time an APEC leader’s aircraft was about to land or depart.
“You can imagine how it was [during APEC]. Therefore, all the flights will be in Clark. There are fewer commercial flights in Clark than here [in NAIA], so it will be easier to resolve flight traffic in Clark airport,” Paynor said.
“Based on my estimates, the number of flights that would be affected in Clark will be nowhere the 405 flights cancelled and 200 other flights cancelled during APEC. Maybe it will just affect 50 [flights],” Paynor added. LLANESCA T. PANTI