MANILA — The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has issued Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) CO701/16 on the “closure of operation of the Lingayen Airport in Pangasinan from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2 for safety reasons.”
The airport is located beside the Lingayen Public Cemetery across the airport runway.
CAAP authorities said the influx of huge number of cemetery visitors during All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day will pose hazards to incoming flights, as people will pass through the airport runway — the shortest route to the cemetery.
They said that during this time, security personnel are having difficulty in controlling the crowds crossing from different directions in almost the entire stretch of the runway.
“Not to mention the old folks’ local tradition of kite flying, believing that in some way, the souls of their departed loved ones go to heaven using kites as medium which run across the airport, posing hazard to aircraft operations,” CAAP said.
Ronald Estabillo, CAAP Area Manager 1, requested CAAP’s Capt. Donaldo Mendoza, chief of Flight Standard and Inspectorate Service (FSIS), to issue the NOTAM on the said dates so that the safety of the aircraft operation will not be compromised.
He said that two flying schools — Fast Link and Fly Fast Flying Schools — are operating in the said airport with an average of 14 flights daily.
Estabillo said “Oplan Bantay Pasilidad sa Araw ng Undas” are now in place to prevent people going to the cemetery from getting near aircraft and other CAAP facilities for safety and security reasons with the coordination of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Aviation Security Group in Lingayen. Ma. Cristina Arayata/PNA-northboundasia.com