International, local airlines fined for uncoordinated âXiamenâ flights
MIAA general manager Ed Monreal said that the 37 uncoordinated international flights resulted in further congestion at the airport that was shut down for days by the crippled Xiamen Air Boeing 737 jet that skidded and led to the closure of the runway.
Ted Aljibe/AFP/File

International, local airlines fined for uncoordinated ‘Xiamen’ flights

Rudy Santos (The Philippine Star) - September 7, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) will fine local and international airlines P5,000 per passenger for making uncoordinated flights to speed up transport of stranded passengers a day after a Xiamen Air plane overshot the runway of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last Aug. 16.

MIAA general manager Ed Monreal said some 37 uncoordinated flights were made out of the 78 local and foreign jets that landed at the NAIA right after the runway was cleared.

He said that the 37 uncoordinated international flights resulted in further congestion at the airport that was shut down for days by the crippled Xiamen Air Boeing 737 jet that skidded and led to the closure of the runway.

Monreal said the erring airline firms would pay a fine of P5,000 for each passenger of the planes that made uncoordinated flights.

These uncoordinated flights caused further congestion of the runway and ramp controllers at the NAIA Terminal 1 had difficulty relocating the various planes – some aircraft were forced to park at the remote parking bay and even at the taxiway of the runway, Monreal said.

The airlines that made the uncoordinated flights included two flights of Asiana Airlines, China Eastern with one fight, China Southern with two flights, Etihad Airlines with two flights, Eva Air with one flight, Gulf Air with one, Japan Airlines, two; Jeju Airlines, two; Korean Airlines, one; Kuwait Airways, one; Malaysian Airlines, two; Qantas Airlines, one; Air Brunei, one; Xiamen Air, four; Philippine Airlines, three; Hongkong Airlines, two; Air China, two; Oman Air, one; Qatar Airways, one; Thai Airways, one.

Four other uncoodinated flights are being verified to identify the airlines involved.

Concerned airline officials said that some aircraft were diverted to Clark and Cebu, so when the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) lifted the first Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) they flew to NAIA from Clark and Cebu. 

There were 78 international flights that landed at NAIA when the CAAP lifted its first NOTAM but 37 of the flights were uncoordinated.

MIAA personnel had a hard time removing the disabled Xiamen Air jet that skidded on the main runway 06-24 of the airport on Aug. 16, paralyzing airport operations for almost two days that brought confusion and inconvenience for thousands of stranded passengers.

CAAP said authorities would demand a P33-million fine from Xiamen Air for shutting down the airport.

Officials said CAAP had complied with and acquired a complete set of tools and machines to remove disabled aircraft based on the requirement of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), but MIAA personnel does not have a highly telescopic heavy-lift crane to lift the Xiamen jet.

Authorities were forced to rent a heavy-lift crane that took a long time to transport to the runway and lift the ill-fated Boeing 737 jet.

Monreal said the NAIA really needs an alternative runway for bigger international flights to prevent the shutdown of the airport once there is an accident in one runway.

“We will be spending billions of pesos to create a space for NAIA, especially in creating another parallel runway,” said Monreal.

He said one extreme measure is to expropriate houses and lots in Merville Subdivision that are adjacent to the NAIA and create space for the construction of another runway parallel to the main runway 06-24.

CAAP said that they are expediting the release of the official transcription of the black box and data recorder of Xiamen Air flight MF 8667 that skidded off the runway.

New runway at Clark

Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) officials have proposed construction of a new secondary parallel runway at Clark to accommodate emergency flights in case the NAIA is closed.

“Clark needs a new secondary parallel runway positioned to allow simultaneous takeoffs and landings to easily decongest the overcrowded NAIA pending the construction of proposed airports either in Bulacan or in Cavite,” Alexander Cauguiran, CIAC president, said yesterday after the House committee on transportation held a public hearing on the Xiamen Air incident at NIAA that affected close to 200,000 passengers.  – With Artemio Dumlao 

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