Airport authorities clarified that no commercial flights are scheduled in Butuan until July 1 as the city government expressed concern over a possible surge in the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city.
In a statement posted on its Facebook page, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) in Butuan City said Mayor Ronnie Vicente Lagnada asked them to suspend the plan to reopen to commercial flights Bancasi Airport under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
The CAAP said Lagnada wants the airport to remain closed even if Butuan has transitioned into MGCQ, pointing out the city had no laboratory capable of testing samples from the city’s suspected cases.
The mayor was also worried that cases may surge in the city once it reopened the airport that caters to domestic flight to and from Manila and Cebu.
“Commercial flights from Butuan to Manila/Cebu and vice versa are still suspended. Will resume tentatively on July 1st,” CAAP said in a statement on Monday.
“To exercise precaution, airport operation shall resume after completion of the testing facility in order to better prepare the city in handling the influx of people. While there is still no commercial flights, sweeper flights are allowed,” it added.
On Friday, the country’s flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) announced the resumption of flights between Manila and Butuan, allowing passengers to purchase tickets. CLC