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NAIA back to normal


After diverting at least 35 international and domestic flights in the morning, operations at Ninoy Aquino International Airport are now back to normal around 1 p.m. on Saturday. The Manila International Airport Authority released a public advisory that no other flights after 1 p.m. were diverted. The only affected flights were the ones bound for Manila that were diverted to Clark, Cebu and Iloilo airports.

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines technical assistant Lito Casaul told reporters that the haze had cleared by mid-morning but because of queue for landing time slots, the diverted flights could not immediately return to NAIA.

Flights that got diverted were those operated by pilots who have not yet been certified for the airport’s new navigation equipment – the Runway Navigation-Global Positioning System (RNAV-GPS) – which helps pilots land even in poor visibility.

"It doesn’t mean they’re not qualified or non-compliant. It’s just that the pilots haven’t yet got their certifications or their aircraft’s settings haven’t yet been adjusted for the RNAV-GPS. In fact, during the haze, at least 20 flights that were certified had been able to land safely," Casaul said.