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Local carriers express readiness for May 17 Phil. airspace shutdown

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LOCAL airline companies operating at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminals have expressed readiness for the six-hour shutdown of the Philippine Airspace slated this coming May 17, 2023.

AirAsia Philippines, Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air are taking precautionary measures and seeking the support of industry stakeholders for the proposed flight adjustments during the scheduled corrective maintenance and repair of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines’ (CAAP) uninterruptible power supply (UPS) of the Communication Navigation System- Air Traffic Management (CNS-ATM) on said date.

In a consultative meeting with MIAA officer-in-charge General Manager Bryan Co, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Undersecretary for Aviation Roberto Lim, CAAP Director General Capt. Manuel Antonio Tamayo and other industry leaders, AirAsia Philippines discussed the proposed rescheduling of 21 flights on 16 May and retiming of 13 flights and the cancellation of 6 flights on 17 May.

Included in the proposed rescheduling are flights to and from Taipei, Incheon, Bangkok (Don Mueang), Kota Kinabalu, and Incheon for international and Cebu, Bacolod, Davao, Puerto Princesa, Cagayan, Iloilo, and Tacloban for domestic.

Moreover, canceled flights include those flying from Manila to Davao, Cebu, and Bacolod and its corresponding return flights which cover the 6-hour repair from 12:00 M.N. to 6:00 A.M. on May 17.

According to AirAsia Philippines Communications and Public Affairs Country Head Steve Dailisan, “The repair of the CNS-ATM system is a positive development towards ensuring safer skies for all, especially within the Philippine Flight Information Region (FIR). AirAsia Philippines is expressing its support to our industry partners in this crucial exercise. We’ve been working closely with them since the beginning to mitigate any inconvenience among our guests. This involves our request with the slot committee for the retiming of our flights that will be affected due to the repair.”

AirAsia has made adequate preparations to notify guests in advance via SMS and registered email of the flight schedule changes. It also prepared a massive information dissemination campaign through its quad media partners and social media pages.

Other local carriers Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific though their spokespersonS Cielo Villaluna and Carmina Romero respectively, said they will adjust their international and domestic flights arrivals and departures starting Tuesday to give way to the CAAP scheduled maintenance work on their radar system that started last May 3 and on May 17, 2023 from 12 midnight to 6 a.m.

The local air carriers will provide updates as necessary, through their websites and Facebook pages.

They said that there will be some time adjustment, some will be earlier and some will be delayed. Airlines are seeking your kind understanding as the airline works with the authorities to minimize the impact on their customer.

CAAP spokesman Eric Apolonio said that CAAP will issue Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and inform the public that a corrective maintenance activity will be conducted at the Philippine Air Traffic Management Center (ATMC) on May 17, 2023.

CAAP is undertaking preventive maintenance work as part of a permanent upgrading and improvement of the country’s navigational systems.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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