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CAAP warns pilots of possible debris from China rocket launch

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said Thursday it issued several notices to airmen (NOTAM) due possible debris from a rocket launch by China which could “pose danger to aircraft and seacraft” around Bajo de Masinloc.

In an advisory, CAAP said China's Long March 7 rocket was launched on Wednesday, May 10, at 9:22 p.m. (Philippine time).

CAAP said the three NOTAM were effective on May 10 from 9:14 p.m. to 9:52 p.m.; 9:15 p.m. to 9:56 p.m.; and 9:15 p.m. to 10:02 p.m. for the aerospace flight activity, advising the closure of several area navigation routes in preparation for possible debris drops from the rocket launch.

The NOTAM's area of concern included the drop zones approximately 65 to 79 kilometers from Bajo de Masinloc, also known as the Scarborough Shoal.

“Though the debris from the rocket launch will unlikely fall on inhabited land, it may still pose danger to aircraft and seacraft,” CAAP said.

The agency said the debris drop zones have been verified through a notice from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). The areas were also identified in coordination with the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA).—Giselle Ombay/AOL, GMA Integrated News