Poe wants probe with airport execs over Naia runway incident
Senator Grace Poe on Sunday said she would file a Senate resolution to seek explanation from airport authorities over the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) runaway mishap that caused disruptions to hundreds of international and domestic flights.
Poe, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said she would direct her panel to inquire into the operational procedures in responding to such emergency situations and why it took about 36 hours to remove the stalled Chinese passenger aircraft from the main runway of Naia.
“Ano ba o meron nga bang standard operating procedure sa mga ganitong aksidente? This is not the first time that a plane has skidded off the runway and it certainly won’t be the last,” Poe said in a statement.
“Bakit inabot ng dalawang araw bago magsimula ulit ang operasyon ng NAIA? Hindi ba kayang gawin ito nang mas mabilis para hindi gaanong naperwisyo ang libu-libong pasahero?” she asked.
On Thursday night, Xiamen Air Flight MF8667 skidded off the Naia runway and derailed hundreds of flights and stranded passengers.
“We will give time for airport authorities to have a complete report on the effects of the runway closure during and after the incident,” Poe added.
Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade, Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Eddie Monreal, airline executives, as well as some affected passengers will be invited to the hearing, the senator noted.
The said hearing will also tackle Senate Resolution No. 782 filed by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian on the status of Metro Manila airports and the government’s plans, if any, on modernizing them to meet growing demand.
“The public deserves an acceptable explanation. This is important, considering that Naia remains the primary gateway for foreign tourists into the country. Note, also, that Naia is operating at overcapacity. It was built to handle some 30 million passengers, but is currently accommodating around 42 million,” Poe stressed. /je
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