AFTER shutting down Lingayen, Pangasinan airport for two days, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) formally resumed its regular operations.
The CAAP closed the Lingayen Airport during the observance of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days from October 31 to November 2.
The airport’s 1,634-meter runway sits across the Lingayen Public Cemetery and is being used by the the public as a convenient access to the cemetery , making airport operations during Undas a safety and security concern for the airport.
A notice was issued that effective 5 p.m. on November 2, the airport will resume its normal operations.
Apart from the suspension of commercial flights, the notice covered three flying academies based and operating in Lingayen Airport -- Fast Inc. Academy, Fastlink, and Signature Aviation.
At least 114 flights daily were affected by suspension of operations.
Another cause of the airport closure is the traditional practice of Lingayen locals of flying kites at the cemetery during All Saints’ Day. The practice has been traditionally observed for decades with the belief that kite flying is a tool to communicate with the dead and a vehicle for the departed souls to reach heaven.
Area 1 Manager Ronald Estabillo said even with the notice, “OPLAN Bantay Pasilidad sa Araw ng Undas” was set up to prevent people from crossing the runway for safety and security reasons.”
The “OPLAN Bantay Pasilidad” was conducted in coordination with the Philippine National Police’s Aviation Security Unit (PNP-AVSEU) in Lingayen.