Tugade: Domestic air travel to resume, if LGUs allow

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | June 03,2020 - 09:38 AM

This is a sneak peek of what the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) will be like under the ‘new normal.’  |Contributed Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has given the green light for the resumption of commercial air travels in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ), provided that the receiving local government units where the airports operate will give its consent.

In an update that was posted on its official Facebook page, Tuesday night, June 2, 2020, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade was quoted saying that National Task Force Chief Implementer Sec. Carlito Galvez has issued an order allowing domestic commercial flights between areas GCQ zones under the condition that the provinces or LGUs involved “categorically support the resumption of domestic commercial operations.”

“All that is needed here is for the LGUs involved to allow the commercial resumption of domestic air travel,” Tugade said in Filipino.

In the same news release, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director-General, Captain Jim Sydiongco, said the airlines may confirm whether the LGUs of their outports and destinations approved of the domestic air travel resumption through the airport authorities, in Cebu’s case, the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority MCIAA.

“We advise airlines and air operators to communicate with the airport authorities having jurisdiction over the airport concerned to ensure proper coordination with the intended destination,” Capt. Sydiongco said.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, in a press conference, Tuesday night, said they are already finalizing the protocols that the province will observe when domestic air travel will be permitted.

Garcia said that Executive Order No. 17-E that will define the said protocols is on the way.

Read: Cebu to ban entry of passengers from outside province

At the height of the coronavirus infection in the middle of last March, Garcia has ordered against the entry of all persons into the province, whether travelling by sea or air. Later on, air travel has been effectively suspended when the country moved to declare an enhanced community quarantine to stop the spread of the COVID-19 cases.

Last May 20, Cebu province has shifted to GCQ from ECQ.  The independent chartered city of Lapu-Lapu, where the airport is located, also shifted to GCQ last May 16.

Read: MCIA set to become 1st airport in the country with own COVID-19 test lab

MCIA, for its part, said it is now ready to resume operations with more safety measures in place. MCIA is also set to become the first airport with a COVID-19 testing facility. / dcb

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