By Azer N. Parrocha
MANILA, Sept. 21 (PNA) — Delays in commercial flight operations will be kept to a minimum amid preparations for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit on November, airport authorities assured on Monday.
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said restrictions will be in place for cargo and general aviation flights the entire week of the event in order to ensure that commercial flights will be able to keep its schedules.
“Preparing for APEC also means strategically planning for the flights of the general public,” MIAA general manager Jose Angel Honrado said in a statement.
“We want to make sure that majority of our passengers will be able to fly without much delay,” he added, assuring the authority still had the public’s best interest at heart.
MIAA assured that it will be coordinating with the APEC National Organizing Council (NOC), the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and the airlines on the exact schedule of visiting state officials.
Although the authority has yet to receive the schedules of the heads of state from the APEC NOC, Honrado said that passengers will be informed of any changes in their flights by their respective airlines.
Meanwhile, Honrado urged passengers to plan their trips ahead of APEC events.
Heads of state are expected to arrive in Manila at least two days ahead of the Economic Leaders’ Meeting on November 18 and 19. Likewise, they are expected to leave the country by November 20.
Periods of runway closure will also be in place as the aircraft of the heads of state arrive and depart from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
MIAA said that inside the terminals, APEC lanes, information desks, and signage have been set-up. The enhancement of the lounges according to a themed design is also ongoing.
Security measures have also been crafted for the heads of state. Among others, security and traffic escorts will be assigned to them as soon as they land in Manila.
Scheduled runway closures for maintenance services during the early hours of the morning will also be lifted until the heads of state leave Manila.
The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) meanwhile stressed that airlines will not be held liable for flights that will be delayed, diverted, or canceled brought about by events and procedures related to APEC. (PNA)