Stranded passengers crowd the lobby of NAIA after flights were cancelled due to the accident involving a Xiamen Air jet that veered off the runway when it crash landed amid bad weather.
Some members of the Senate and the House of Representatives are seeking explanation from officials of the Manila International Airport Authority on why it took several days to clear the runway of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport after a Xiamen Air jet veered off the runway when it crash landed last Thursday night.
The incident caused MIAA to close down the runway for over 24 hours, which disrupted flights and stranded thousands of passengers around the country.
A resolution filed by Senate Committee on Public Services chairperson Grace Poe is seeking for a full-blown investigation following the runway mishap.
The senator also questioned why the airline and airport management let the passengers wait that long.
“Kailangan talagang may managot dito financially. At isa pa, doon naman sa mga airline at sa airport management, bakit naman nila pinaghintay ng ganun katagal ang ating mga pasahero kung hindi naman nila matantiya kung kalian lilipad? “ said Poe.
According to House Committee on Transportation chairman Cesar Sarmiento, airport authorities must be prepared for all kinds of emergency scenarios.
“We will try to find out the capacity of our airport authorities to respond to those kinds of accidents because it brought a lot of inconvenience and damage to our economy as a result,” said Sarmiento.
Metro Manila Development Committee chairman Winnie Castelo also believes that heads must roll in this incident that brought embarrassment to the country.
“The one running the airport should be accountable administratively, civilly, if not criminally,” he said.
Senator Cynthia Villar, meanwhile, said the incident showed NAIA’s lack of facilities.
“It’s something that we cannot do something about. It’s an accident. Ang nakikita mo dun eh , We don’t have enough airport facilities kung merong nangyaring ganyan, ida-divert mo lang,” she said.
To prevent a repeat of the incident, House Deputy Speaker Prospero Pichay Jr. suggested transferring all international flights to Clark International Airport to decongest NAIA.
“Clark (Airport) has two runways. We have two runways here (NAIA) but the other one is for domestic, very small. It cannot accommodate the international airlines.”
Last February, then House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez gave airline companies 45 days to transfer some of their flights to the Clark International Airport in Pampanga to address the congestion at NAIA.
But airline companies asked for a 2nd extension, citing operation complications.
“As early as July we received communication from some airlines that they will not be able to beat the deadline due to some complicated process at Clark Airport. — Grace Casin