The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has limited the operations of corporate jets and small planes at Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), in a move aimed at easing congestion at the country's main gateway.

To free up air traffic at the airport, corporate jets' and air taxis' landings and take-offs have been limited to two cycles per hour in a 12-hour period starting from 07:00 local time. The slots will be dished out on a "first come first serve basis", with exceptions only for flights carrying the country's president and vice-president, says the CAAP.

The regulator also issued an order prohibiting small planes carrying food and marine products from using the airport. These flights have instead been directed to the Major Danilo Atienza Air Base, a military base at Sangley Point, Cavite.

Aircraft movements at NAIA soared to 255,000 in 2011, up by 49% from 2006.

Congestion has long been a bugbear at NAIA and the Philippine authorities have for years said they are looking at moving general aviation out of the airport.

To boost the airport's handling capacity, it is building two rapid exit taxiways. The country's department of transport and communication has also said that it plans to transfer some commercial flights to other airports with night landing capabilities.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news