‘No fly zone’ over northern PH ahead of rocket launch
MANILA, Philippines — The government began enforcing the no-fly, no-sail, and no-fishing zones Thursday until April 16, the period in which North Korea would have launched its rocket as a prelude to sending its own satellite into space.
The triple ban took effect at 5 a.m. up until 1p.m. to prevent disaster that could be caused by falling debris from the rocket, especially in the northern part of Luzon.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said that it has begun sweeping operations in the 590 square kilometer area about 190 nautical miles (352 kilometers) northeast of Sta. Ana, Cagayan, and 150 nautical miles (278 km) east of Polilio island, Quezon where parts of the rocket may fall.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) notified sea vessels and airplanes to avoid the area, an NDRRMC bulletin on Thursday said.
Seafaring vessels have been advised “to undertake necessary precautionary measures to avoid transiting the vicinity of the designated second stage falling area,” it said.
Airplanes have also been advised “to undertake necessary precautionary measures to avoid transiting the vicinity of the designated second stage falling area,” it said.
Ferdinand Tienzo, assistant chief of air traffic control at CAAP, had previously stated that about 20 international daily flights from Japan and South Korea would have to take alternate routes.
The NDRRMC bulletin said that all concerned Local Government Units (LGUs) have also been advised to enforce the no-fishing policy from 6a.m. to 12noon.
NDRRMC Executive Director Benito Ramos said in a press conference Wednesday that there was a possibility of extending the no-fly, no-sail, and no-fishing zone into the afternoon because the second stage booster can take from three to four hours from separation from the main rocket to splash down into the sea.
Ramos said that airlines and sea vessels were aware of the possibility and were ready to comply.