Russian plane lands in Davao, delivers 3 US helicopters

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 8 Nov) – A Russian cargo plane delivered three United States helicopters in Davao City on Wednesday.

Engr. Rex Obsena, airport manager, said in an interview that Antonov, a Russian transporter aircraft, landed at the F. Bangoy International Airport around 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday from Sri Lanka and left for Nagoya, Japan at 5 a.m. Thursday.

The Russian aircraft was previously scheduled to land at the Zamboanga International Airport but had to change its entry/exit permits as the airport could not accommodate it due to its size, he said.

Obsena said he could not confirm if the three helicopters were procured by the Philippine government or donated by the US government.

The Volga-DNEPR Airlines, the company that owns the Russian transport plane, was consigned by the US Embassy in the Philippines to deliver the helicopters, he said.

“The 3 helis (helicopters) bear the markings of civilian registered aircrafts,” Obsena said, but added that delivery of three military aircrafts was part of the Philippines-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

Major Ezra L. Balagtey, Eastern Mindanao Command public information officer, said the Army’s Tactical Operations Wing (TOW) has not yet released any information about it.

Obsena said the helicopters are currently being assembled and will be delivered to Zamboanga upon completion of the technical works and compliance of the necessary permits. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)