Congress to probe Friday’s NAIA runway mishap

admin   •   August 20, 2018   •   2875

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

MIAA warns public against taxi drivers with tampered meters

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 19, 2019

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) warns the public against abusive drivers who use tampered meters.

Authorities received a report from a passenger who rode a taxi from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to Alabang. His fare went up to P630 which should have cost around P350-P400 only.

Authorities immediately conducted an investigation and will file a case against the driver.

Proven violators will have their operator’s franchise and driver’s license revoked.

The MIAA reminded the public to immediately report these incidents to authorities through their Facebook account or hotline, (02) 8771111. They can also message NAIA at 0917-839-6242.—AAC

COA: MRT-3 revenues, number of passengers in 2018 hit record low

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 16, 2019

The revenue operations including the passenger ridership and ticket sales of the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) has declined in 2018, according to the Commission on Audit (COA).

Based on the COA report, this is due to the low number of trains used.

“With only an average of 13 out of the 24 train sets plying on the rail tracks, thereby heightening the discomfort of the riding public,” according to the report.

From over 140 million passengers recorded in 2017, it went down to 104 million in 2018. This dropped the MRT-3’s revenue to P2.07 billion from P2.78 billion.

COA reiterated the need for the MRT-3 to fix the train system.

Meanwhile, the MRT-3 is currently conducting rehabilitation for their train system which is set to be completed in 2020.

The UNTV News and Rescue asked the management of the MRT-3 for comment and is still awaiting their response.—AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

US Homeland Security lifts security notice on NAIA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 9, 2019

The United States Department of Homeland Security (US-DHS) has lifted the public notice on security conditions at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

On Thursday (Aug 8), the US-DHS has released a statement saying the Philippines has made significant improvements at the NAIA.

Based on the statement, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and various civil aviation security authorities have demonstrated their willingness to work towards sustaining the improvements.

United States Ambassador Sung Kim also congratulated Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur ahead of the official advisory.

Tugade is grateful for the efforts of MIAA, the Office for Transportation Security (OTS), as well as other civil aviation security groups in NAIA.

“While we are happy with this news, we must remember that the more important thing is that we sustain and consistently improve our efforts to ensure the safety and security of the passengers,” he said.

Last December 2018, the US-DHS has issued a public notice due to NAIA’s “failure to adequately implement and maintain international security standards”.—AAC

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