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Philippine carriers to decide if they will comply to China's air defense zone

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said it will be up to the airlines to respond to the notice to airmen the People's Republic of China issued about the airspace over the East China Sea.
“We never issue a directive for a Notam (notice to airmen) of another country. We are just disseminating information… The government does not observe the Notam but it is not for us to make the decision,” CAAP deputy director general Capt. John Andrews was quoted as saying on GMA News'  “24 Oras” newscast on Tuesday.
CAAP has received a Notam from China saying that local airlines should notify Chinese authorities if they intend to fly over China's recently declared air defense identification zone over the  East China Sea, parts of which are being disputed by China and Japan.

China has warned of unspecific consequences if airlines do not follow. The US has spoken of the risk of a deadly "miscalculation" and has advised US carriers to comply with China's order without explicitly recognizing China's unilateral move.
CAAP forwarded the Notam to Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Airlines. Cebu Air Inc., operator of Cebu Pacific, said the Notam from China does not concern them.
“The announcement of PROC’s aircraft identification rules does not impact CEB’s operations at the moment. None of CEB’s current routes require us to fly over the PRC’s East China Sea air defense identification zone,” said Jorenz TaƱada, CEB’s vice president for corporate affairs, via text message to GMA News.
PAL has yet to issue a statement.
According to CAAP's Andrews, airlines that do not follow any country’s ADIZ could be fined, but downplayed the risk of conflict over the issue.
“There is no way they are going to shoot it down. That is just short of a declaration of war,” he noted.
Last week, the Philippines joined the US, Japan, South Korea and Australia’s protest against China’s new air defense zone.
“China’s East Asia Sea ADIZ transforms the entire airzone into its domestic airspace, infringes on the freedom of flight in international airspace and compromises the safety of civil aviation and national security of affected states,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez had said. — ELR/HS, GMA News

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