Nothing unusual with landing, refueling of Chinese plane: defense chief

There is nothing unusual with the landing and refueling of a People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Ilyushin-76 turbofan strategic airlifter in Davao City last June 8.

This was bared by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana shortly after flag-raising ceremonies in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Monday.

“(Ayon sa) ating pamahalaan ay meron itong (As per the government, it has coordination with Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines), you know yung (the) CAAP is the agency in charge with our airspace so meron silang (they have) coordination na mag-landing sa Davao para mag-refuel then papunta siya sa (that it will make a landing in Davao to refuel and then it will go to) Cairns, Australia, pagbalik niya magre-refuel din ulit (when it returns, it will refuel again). Ganun ang kasunduan (That’s the agreement), so nothing is unusual there, kahit na ibang mga bansa ginagawa din yan, yung mga Amerikano nagla-landing din dito din dito para mag-refuel (even other countries do that, the Americans also make a landing here to refuel),” he added.

The DND chief added that Philippine Air Force planes also do this kind of procedures when going abroad.

“In fact pagka-pumunta tayo sa ibang bansa at gagamitin natin sa loob (ang) eroplano (natin) at kapusin tayo (When we go to ther countries and our airplane runs out of fuel) we can land in another country, refuel, but we will have to have prior coordination, yun ang ginawa nila (that was what they did),” Lorenzana stressed.

The Ilyushin-76 is a multi-purpose four-engine turbofan strategic airlifter designed by the Soviet Union’s Ilyushin design bureau.

It was first planned as a commercial freighter in 1967, as a replacement for the Antonov An-12. It was designed to deliver heavy machinery to remote, poorly served areas. PNA