(Photo from Puerto Princesa International Airport Flights FB page)

Airport authorities are now preparing for passenger influx during the holidays.

Civil Aeronautics Board deputy executive director Maria Elben Moro on Friday urged travelers to continue exercising safety precautions and purchase tickets early.

“We would like to remind them to take precautions as (the coronavirus disease) is still there, so continue observing health and safety protocols,” she said in a public briefing.

Moro also advised them to purchase their tickets early so they would have more options and be able to avail of these at cheaper rates.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) reported that for August, the total monthly passenger traffic at the country’s main gateway reached around 3 million passengers or 77 percent of the pre-pandemic level.

Domestic traffic at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has so far reached 109 percent or 1.94 million passengers compared to the same period in 2019, MIAA said Friday.

International passenger traffic, on the other hand, remained at over 50 percent of the pre-pandemic level, or 1.06 million passengers.

MIAA attributed the increasing number of passengers to the government’s vaccination program, which MIAA said has promoted confidence among air travelers.

In preparation for the upcoming holidays, discussions were held among the MIAA management, airlines, and other aviation stakeholders to ensure the proper deployment of equipment and manpower resources to ensure the efficient handling of flights.

Managers of all NAIA terminals were instructed to ensure vital facilities are in good condition and implement contingency measures if needed.

Operations and security groups were told to make constant rounds at the airport premises to prevent congestion and queuing in critical areas. They were also told to increase foot patrol to deter petty crimes. Perimeter patrol will likewise be heightened.

The engineering team was tasked to ensure that all critical infrastructure and equipment are available and the backup systems are ready to be deployed.

Office for Transportation Security administrator Ma. O Aplasca, meanwhile, urged passengers to check their belongings before going to the airport.

Passengers should take note of prohibited items such as guns, sharp pointed objects, chemicals, and other toxic substances, he said.

Airport personnel, as well as police units, are ready to assist passengers and can be approached at the help desks. (PNA)

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