MANILA, Philippines–Rebook, cancel or simply go with the flow?
A Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) official on Thursday laid out these options to passengers who have scheduled departing flights in the country’s main airport on the arrival and departure dates of Pope Francis next year.
Alvin Candelaria, officer in charge of the airport operations unit of MIAA, made the suggestion following the announcement of the closure of several roads around the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) complex in specific hours on Jan. 15, the Pope’s arrival, and on Jan. 19, the Pope’s departure.
Ma. Consuelo Bungag, officer in charge of the public affairs division of the MIAA, said that on the first day, the “whole stretch of Sales Avenue all the way to Andrews Avenue; Domestic Road all the way to Park and Fly; and MIA Road going to Roxas Boulevard” will be closed from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
On the second day, she said the same roads will be closed from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.
“So what do we expect to happen? [Some] Naia terminals can only be accessed via South Superhighway through Bicutan, Alabang and Sucat Road,” she said in a press conference at the Naia Terminal 1 Boardroom on Tuesday.
To enable travelers to get to these last two terminals on those days, she said airport authorities had designated Naia Terminal 1 Parking B as a “jump-off point.”
“From [this] staging area, those travelers will be brought to Terminals 3 and 4 via shuttle buses owned by Naia, and these will pass by the airside because that’s the only way we can get them to the two terminals,” Bungag said.
Bungag said travelers who decide to push through with their flights will have to go to the airport “five to six hours” ahead of their scheduled flight.
Candelaria said on Jan. 15, the entire airport will be closed to arriving aircraft from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
On the same day, from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., he said the landing and takeoff on runways and other “ground movement in the airport” will be suspended.
He said on Jan. 17, landing and takeoff, and other aircraft movement on the ground will also be “suspended” from 7:45 a.m. to 7:59 a.m., from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., and from 5:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.
He said on Jan. 19, there will be no arrival of aircraft from 6 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and there would be “totally no (ground) movement, landing, (and takeoff) from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.”
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