MANILA’S Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Monday partially resumed operations after more than 500 flights were affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano, whose ash enveloped some cities near the capital on Sunday evening.

In a joint statement, the Department of Transportation, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) announced that airport operations had resumed for departures starting at 10 a.m. yesterday and at noon for departures.

“This, however, will be subject to terminal capacity of the four NAIA terminals and airline consent,” according to the emailed statement.

Departure flights will be prioritized so that the airport ramps may be cleared of planes parked there since Sunday night, they said.

Second priority will be given to regular scheduled flights for Monday. “This arrangement will also give both MIAA and CAAP better capability to allocate slots.”

About 80,000 passengers and 516 flights were affected by Sunday’s volcanic eruption,

MIAA General Manager Eddie V. Monreal said at a briefing.

“We are trying our very best to bring back the operations to normalcy,” he said, adding that they were appealing to the public for “a bit of patience.”

Airline operators were asked to submit their flight cancellations for Tuesday “to give the slotting committee more room to allocate slots to airlines wishing to mount recovery operations.”

They also said MIAA had been clearing the runways, taxiways and ramps of ashfall since 4 a.m. on Monday. — Arjay L. Balinbin