Rainy weather, balloons delay flights, flower drop

By: Norman V. Mendoza January 14,2017 - 10:22 PM

ZERO visibility due to the weather and the presence of balloons containing written petitions from the Catholic faithful caused heavy air traffic at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) yesterday.

As a result, incoming and departing flights were delayed along with the flower drop at yesterday’s fluvial procession, said Capt. Julius Kailel, a Kenyan instructor pilot of Indiana Aerospace University (IAU).

Kaliel, whose team was supposed to do the flower drop, said the control tower experienced air traffic yesterday morning while the fluvial procession was ongoing.

“I’ve heard there were six planes on landing approach, but they were advised to take more rounds to get a clearer view as there was zero visibility,” Kailel said.

Kaliel said they were already issued a special permit to fly over Cebu North Harbor to conduct a flower drop during the fluvial procession at Mactan Channel.

But the rains forced them to wait until the fluvial procession was over before they conducted the flower drop.

Dr. Jovenal Toring, IAU president and owner, said the flower petals came from the devotees in Ormoc City and here in Cebu. A crew had to clear the runway of over 30 balloons before aircraft were allowed to land.

“Even if it was prohibited, balloons were tolerated because the police prioritized the ban on firecrackers. But we discouraged people from setting off firecrackers,” said Senior Supt. Roberto Alanas, Mandaue City police chief.

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TAGS: #Sinulog2017, airport, balloons, Catholic, flights, Mactan Cebu International Airport, Sinulog

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