THE CIVIL Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has increased security at airports in anticipation of the surge of travelers during the Christmas and New Year holidays.
In a statement on Sunday, CAAP said it has coordinated with government agencies operating at airports, including the Office of Transportation Security and the Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group, to deploy additional manpower as operations are placed on high alert.
CAAP manages 43 facilities with commercial flights. These include nine classified as international airports, located in Bicol, Bohol-Panglao, Davao, General Santos, Iloilo, Kalibo, Laoag, Puerto Princesa, and Zamboanga.
The agency also appealed to travelers to refrain from bringing items prohibited on flights and stash belongings in carry-on bags to avoid congestion at screening checkpoints.
CAAP noted that passenger volume reached more than one million in December 2021 from 245,141 in the same month the previous year with the easing of pandemic restrictions.
“Due to travel bans imposed in the last two years brought by COVID-19, the CAAP operated airports reported that it has seen trends of pent-up demand for tourism this year,” it said.
Around 16 million passengers traveled in CAAP airports from January to October, “and more are expected to travel during the holiday rush.”
In December 2019, about 2.54 million travelers were recorded at CAAP-managed airports.
“Based on pre-pandemic historical data, an estimate of around 7-10% increase in the number of passengers is expected annually; and with the current easing of travel restrictions, CAAP is optimistically preparing for surge in the demand for travel,” it said. — MSJ