DFA ‘called attention’ of US over unannounced landing of its aircraft at NAIA – exec
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has “called the attention” of the United States over the unannounced landing of its aircraft at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in June.
In a Senate hearing on Wednesday, DFA Assistant Secretary Jose Victor Chan Gonzaga revealed this and said the US Embassy gave assurances to avoid such an incident from happening again.
“We have already called the attention of the US embassy to this; they have provided us assurances that they will try, as much as possible, not to make this happen again,” Gonzaga, of the DFA’s Office of American Affairs, said.
“I don’t think anyone is in a position where it’s absolutely never gonna happen again. We definitely will be more vigilant in terms of vetting these requests,” he also said.
On the morning of June 26, a Boeing C-17 strategic transport aircraft, owned and operated by the US military, landed at NAIA. Senate Resolution No. 667, which prompted the inquiry, states that nine military crew and one passenger were on board the aircraft.
The resolution likewise disclosed that the C-17 departed NAIA 10 hours after it landed.
Investigations revealed that the US aircraft has a landing permit, but no coordination was made between the aircraft operator, ground handler, and NAIA.
“The ground handler is the one who is supposed to coordinate with the airport. The airport should not coordinate with the ground handler,” Gonzaga stressed.
Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa thanked and commended the DFA for “being brave enough” to call out the US and correct such mistake.
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