All flights from Cauayan Airport to Maconacon Airport and vice versa in Isabela have been suspended since Wednesday amid the search and rescue operation for the missing Cessna plane, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said Thursday.

In a message to GMA News Online, CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio said a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) was issued to airline operators, informing them of the suspension of flights in these areas for 24 hours, effective Wednesday afternoon.

He said this was to pave the way for the search and rescue operations for the Cessna RPC 1174 and its six passengers that have been missing since Tuesday.

Apolonio on Wednesday said they received a report that a C206 plane identified as RPC1174 did not arrive at its intended destination at Maconacon Airport.

The plane departed from Cauayan Airport at 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, and its last contact with the air traffic controller was at 2:19 p.m., when it was within the vicinity of Naguillian Bridge. The plane was expected to arrive in Maconacon at 2:45 p.m.

Interviewed on GMA News’ Unang Balita on Thursday, Apolonio said that search and rescue operations for the missing plane and passengers are expected to resume within the day.

He said two helicopters and two drones have been repositioned and may start the search once the weather normalizes in the area.

“Kahapon kasi nahinto ang search and rescue operations natin dahil sa bad weather. May mga leads pa naman po sila, but unfortunately, [tinigil] kahapon ng hapon dahil sa masamang panahon,” he said.

(Yesterday, our search and rescue operations were suspended due to the bad weather. They have leads, but unfortunately, it had to be stopped yesterday afternoon due to bad weather.)

“But early this morning, sigurado ‘yan na medyo maganda ang klima diyan ‘pag sa umaga kaya lilipad ang ating search and rescue,” he added.

(But early this morning, we are certain that the weather is quite good there in the morning so our search and rescue teams will resume operations.)

In a public briefing interview, Apolonio said there had been coordination between CAAP’s airport management at Cauayan Airport, the Cauayan City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, and the Philippine Air Force for the search and rescue operations.

He also said notice had already been given to the families of the missing passengers, but stressed that the plane owner also has the responsibility to talk to them on the matter.

“Doon sa pamilya ng mga nawawalang pasahero, nakiki-ano kami na sana maunawaan niyo na rin na gusto rin naming makita immediately but ‘yung weather ang nagiging factor. Hindi kami titigil na hanapin ito as long as the weather permits,” he said.

(For the families of the missing passengers, we appeal for your understanding. We also want to find them immediately, but the weather is a factor. We will not stop looking for them as long as the weather permits.)

On board the missing Cessna RPC 1174 were pilot Captain Eleazar Mark Joven and passengers Tommy Manday, Val Kamatoy, Mark Eiron Siguerra, Xam Siguerra, and Josefa Perla España.  —KBK/VBL, GMA Integrated News

This article CAAP: Flights from Cauayan to Maconacon suspended amid search for missing Cessna plane was originally published in GMA News Online.

2023-01-26T03:06:37Z dg43tfdfdgfd