The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has issued notices to airmen (Notam) informing them about the closure of several area navigation routes in anticipation of possible debris drops from the rocket launch by China.
CAAP made the advisory after the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) informed the agency about the Long March 7 rocket launch Wednesday night.
“Though the debris from the rocket launch will unlikely fall on inhabited land, it may still pose danger to aircraft and seacraft,” CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio said.
Apolonio said the Notam area of concern includes the drop zones identified in coordination with the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA). The PhilSA monitors debris from the rocket, which was confirmed to have launched at 9:22 p.m. on May 10 Philippine time, from Wenchang Space Launch Center in Wenchang, Hainan.
“Unburned debris expected to be discarded from the rocket before it entered outer space is projected to have fallen within three identified drop zone areas that are approximately 65 to 79 kilometers from Bajo de Masinloc,” it stated.
PhilSA has issued an advisory to relevant government authorities before the launch to warn of the risks of falling debris to ships, aircraft, fishing boats, and other vessels passing through the drop zone areas, and recommended the issuance of warnings and temporary restrictions.
In case of debris sighting, PhilSA advises the public to immediately inform local authorities for appropriate action, and avoid retrieving the debris. Joel E. Zurbano
Rocket debris that may contain remnants of toxic substances such as rocket fuel. In cases when contact with debris is unavoidable, personnel protective equipment (PPE) is recommended.
PhilSA will continue to monitor the possible re-entry of the rocket’s upper stages to Earth’s atmosphere.