Suspension sought for airline firm in runway accidents

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A Cebu Pacific Airbus A320 plane sits on the grassy part of the landing strip at the international airport in Davao after it overshot the runway during a rainstorm Sunday night. AFP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Following two runway accidents by Cebu Pacific planes, a legislator called for the airline’s temporary suspension and the grounding of all its pilots while investigation was ongoing.

In a statement, Davao City Representative Karlo Alexei Nograles urged the Department of Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) to look into these incidents and to make the recommendation.

Nograles said he planned to file a resolution seeking a congressional inquiry into the airline’s safety standards.

The legislator made this statement after another Cebu Pacific plane skidded and damaged runway lights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Thursday afternoon.

Last June 2, a Cebu Pacific plane overshot the runway at the Davao International Airport.

“I call on my former colleague in the House of Representatives and now DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya to immediately mobilize the proper agencies to conduct a no-nonsense and transparent investigation so that the public will be made aware of what is really happening to Cebu Pacific,” Nograles said.

He said that the decision of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to ground the pilot of Cebu Pacific’s flight 5J-448 was insufficient.

“We cannot wait for a more serious accident to happen. We are talking here about back-to-back mishaps happening in a span of a few weeks,” he said.

The Davao City lawmaker saw these incidents as “tell-tale signs of grave danger to the public.”

“It is time for DOTC and the full force of all its agencies to step in,” he said, urging the agency to check not only Cebu Pacific’s safety standards but also the training of its personnel and pilots.

He said that Cebu Pacific pilots may be working more than they should because of possible over booking.

Nograles also claimed that the carrier’s ground and in-flight personnel were not properly trained for emergency situations.

“If we have accidents involving buses, the DOTC, through the Land Transportation and Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) almost immediately suspends their entire fleet pending results of their investigation. Wouldn’t it be also appropriate if we do the same to these airlines companies?” he asked.

Related stories:
Cebu Pacific plane overshoots Davao airport runway; passengers
Cebu Pacific apologizes for runway mishap in Davao
Cebu Pacific passengers recall frightening landing at Davao airport
Philippines probes Cebu Pacific for rough landing

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