CAAP has yet to ‘piece together’ why Xiamen Air skidded off runway
Almost a month after the runway mishap at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has yet to “piece together” how and why a Xiamen aircraft skidded off the runway last August 16.
During the hearing of the Senate committee on public services on Monday, CAAP Director General Jim Sydiongco informed the panel that the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder of the ill-fated plane are already in CAAP custody.
Sydiongco said the flight data recorder was sent to Singapore for investigation a week after the incident and it was returned to CAAP a week after.
Asked by the chair of the committee, Senator Grace Poe, what the results of the Singapore probe show, the CAAP chief simply said they have yet to “validate and verify.”
“We know what happened — where, what time — but how and exactly why, we have to piece them together,” Sydiongco said.
“What do you mean you have to piece them together? There are no conclusions based on the findings in Singapore or you’d like to exercise prudence and compare it to your own investigation findings?” Poe asked to which the CAAP official answered in the affirmative.
“So they do have a conclusion,” the senator said.
When Poe pressed if there was any a conclusion pointing to bad weather or pilot error as the cause of the accident, Sydiongco said those were the kinds of information that they were trying to protect as they don’t want to break international protocols.
He explained that international practice discourages the release of unverified and validated conclusions.
At this point, Poe said she would no longer force the CAAP to answer questions but suggested that the matter could be discussed in an executive session.
“I most welcome an executive briefing Ma’am kasi pag naglabas po ako ng opinion ngayon kasama po yan sa protocol na hindi dapat shini-share publicly (because there are information that cannot be shared publicly according to protocol),” Sydiongco said.
“So meron siguro (So there’s a reason),” Poe said.
Sydiongco promised to publish the final report once the CAAP’s Aircraft Accident Investigation and Inquiry Board and Flight Safety Investigation Committee have concluded their own probe on the incident. /ee
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