Closing down of Naia runway eyed due to ‘Nina’
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) raised the possibility of closing down the runway of the country’s premier airport with Metro Manila in typhoon “Nina’s” (international name: Nock-Ten) path.
MIAA general manager Ed Monreal and CAAP director general Jim Sydiongco met on Satruday with airline operators to map out preparations for the typhoon which is expected to make landfall on Christmas Day.
The airport authority heads told airline firms to anticipate the closure of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) should Nina’s winds pick up at 50 knots (around 92.6 kilometers per hour).
They urged the airline operators to keep their passengers updated on the status of their flights and to make sure that their respective customer hotline numbers are available.
Sydiongco advised airlines to coordinate with other airport authorities and the Caap for aircraft parking. “With the expected path of typhoon Nina in Luzon, Clark (International Airport) is not an option for relocation or diversion. Necessarily airports down south like Cebu (Mactan-Cebu International Airport) and Puerto Princesa (International Airport), can serve as evacuation sites for aircraft.”
For his part, Monreal assured airlines that Miaa will suspend daily runway maintenance to give way to recovery flights.
He further encouraged airlines to carry out their established procedures and measures to ensure flight and passenger safety.
Typhoon Nina, with maximum sustained winds of 135 kph and gusts of up to 165 kph, is expected to make landfall over Catanduanes on Sunday and make a path through Luzon and the Visayas. RAM