Airports cleared for commercial flights rise to 43; 6 remain suspended

THE Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said commercial flights are now operating out of 43 airports overall with local government consent, subject to travelers observing safety rules, leaving six airports remaining with no commercial flights.

“As of today, Dec. 22, there are 43 airports in the country whose Local Government Units (LGUs) have issued orders categorically supporting the resumption of commercial airport operations in their areas of jurisdiction,” CAAP said in a statement on its official Facebook page.

CAAP added: “Some airports, while allowing the resumption of commercial flights, are subject to different documentary and passenger LGU restrictions.”

The six airports that remain closed to commercial traffic are Camiguin Airport, Puerto Princesa International Airport, Roxas Airport in Capiz, Tuguegarao Airport, San Vicente Airport in western Palawan, and Sanga-Sanga Airport in Tawi-Tawi.

The agency said all flights under the “allowed” category still need “prior coordination or approval from the LGUs.”

“Roxas, Bacolod, and Iloilo flights require prior coordination with both the city and provincial LGU,” it added.

The total represents an increase from the Dec. 16 tally when only 36 airports were allowed to mount commercial flights.

CAAP said its records show 361 commercial flights as of Dec. 21, “as it maintains operability under the provisions of the modified general community quarantine and general community quarantine.”

Forty-five sweeper flights or special flights, which catered to a total of 1,950 passengers, were mounted to transport stranded passengers,” CAAP said. A sweeper flight is a special service offered to travelers stranded at their destinations.

“Meanwhile, continued service for cargo flights has been carried out, with 86 cargo flights being completed, in order to ensure that transport of goods is sustained.” — Arjay L. Balinbin

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