The local airport authorities clarified on Wednesday there is no decision yet to reopen the Puerto Princesa International Airport (PPIA) to commercial flights after June 10, the effective end date of the closure order issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).
Madel Espartero, CAAP spokesperson, said the airport joint security and emergency committee meeting held Tuesday afternoon merely focused on the presentation of the “new normal” protocols and procedures set by their head office.
“Walang proposal na June 10. Magde-depende at iko-consider ang capability ng city or local government unit (LGU). If hindi pa nila kaya, definitely walang airline na magke-cater ng flights,” Espartero said.
She explained that the issuance from CAAP head office laid out flight restrictions with certain exemptions from the inter-agency task force (IATF). The rest, were still subject for compliance of requirements set by CAAP.
Lawyer Arnel Pedrosa, in a separate interview on Tuesday, stressed that the “city government is against” reopening of PPIA to commercial flights.
“We are insisting that if flights will be allowed, they should get the city’s consent. That is our position and I don’t know if the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will respect that,” Pedrosa said.
City mayor Lucilo Bayron on May 3 wrote a letter addressed to transportation secretary Arthur Tugade to “seriously reconsider” the proposed reopening of commercial flights in Puerto Princesa City.
Tugade has earlier proposed to reopen the regional airports in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) to kickstart the tourism industry.
“We believe that it will be pointless to start commercial flights considering that the fact that the inter-agency task force (IATF) guidelines still prohibit the operations of hotels, restaurants, and tourist destinations,” Bayron said.