MANILA — New airport measures will be implemented and the halted projects in airport facilities because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic will be continued this year, Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) director general Jim Sydiongco said Thursday.
In a virtual presser, Sydiongco said the new airport measures include two key components: provision of sanitation items and footbaths in every entry and exit points; and the observance of routine disinfection of frequently touched or exposed surfaces such as security screening equipment and trays at security checkpoints and baggage areas.
Sydiongco also mentioned that there are 22 ongoing projects in airport facilities operated by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP). These include airport facilities in Busuanga, Bacolod, Biliran, Kalibo, and Davao, among others.
“We are planning to push through with the 22 ongoing projects in CAAP-operated facilities. These were stopped in line with the pandemic, and we plan to continue these (projects) this year,” he said.
As the country is battling the impacts of Covid-19, Sydiongco reported that aviation authorities have done their part by utilizing the airports for sweeper flights, deferring payment of local carriers as well as airport concessionaires, and by utilizing the countries main gateway for repatriation efforts.
From March 14 to April 29, a total of 747 sweeper flights were flown to ferry 13,356 stranded passengers and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), he said.
The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 is being utilized for the repatriation of OFWs, apart from catering to commercial flights.
Based on the Manila International Airport Authority’s record, there are nine airlines scheduled to mount one roundtrip flight each at NAIA on Thursday. These are all foreign carriers: Etihad Airways, Hong Kong Airlines, Eva Air, Saudia Airlines, China Airlines, Qatar Airways, Korean Airlines, Asiana Airlines, and Emirates.
For local carriers, Sydiongco said their payment for landing, take off, and parking fees are deferred for one year, or from March 12, 2020 to March 12, 2021.
Earlier, local carriers Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and AirAsia Philippines have announced cancellation of all their domestic and international flights until May 15, in line with Malacañang’s announcement on the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine. (PNA)