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Uniform health screenings needed to resume airport operations: Sara

The health screening center at all airports in the country should be properly coordinated and organized before the resumption of commercial flights.

Also, the city said the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board should resolve the issues surrounding the provincial bus trips so that the commuters and non-residents will not be stranded in the city.

Mayor Sara Duterte said there is already an established protocol on welcoming arriving passengers since May and “the doctor said that the testing should be done before departure not upon arrival.”

It means that passengers who fail the screening at the point of destination, they should not be allowed to board the plane. “If we check them here and somebody tests positive, we would have to quarantine all airport employees and the airline crew,” she said.

She said they submitted a position letter to the Department of Transportation and suggested some measures. “We said that here in Davao, we will prepare testing before departure, so the testing in all the other airports is before departure,” she added.

“We also said that before they resume the commercial flights, they should first resolve the bus trips and vans,” the mayor said, adding that non-Davao City residents would end up being stranded at the airport if there are no available routes.

An advisory from the Civil Aeronautics Board dated May 30 said the IATF has yet to approve any route for domestic air services. Consequently, airlines are hereby advised to cancel their flights on June 1, 2020 and to stop selling tickets on the said date. The document was signed by executive director Carmelo L. Arcilla.

The Francisco International Airport is now ready for the gradual opening of some flights as the general community quarantine is extended in the city until June 15 on the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force.

Maj. Ronel Tesorero, the assistant chief of the Aviation Security Unit, said they have already prepared the facility under the new normal scenario.

Last month, the airport started to install markings in preparation for the resumption of its operations. On April 22, the airport police started the installation of a language translation app to help them communicate with visiting tourists who have difficulty in English.

Tesorero said that they talked about security measures, social distancing, and new drop-off lanes for the private vehicles and taxicabs, and the strict implementation of the no send-off parties for the passengers.

Also, the airport police station had coordinated with airport security for the observance of social distancing inside the terminal building. As directed by the airport manager, the airport terminal-in-charge already arranged the benches in the waiting lounges to meet the standard of social or physical distancing.

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