Airports ordered to prevent runway crossing by people, vehicles and cattle
MANILA, Philippines — The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has ordered all 81 airport operators in the country to draft and enforce their programs to stop people and livestock from crossing the runways, a practice that endangers aircraft.
CAAP director general William Hotchkiss III stressed that “runway incursion” has become a major safety issue in aviation, which must be stopped.
The CAAP oversees the operations of 40 government-run airports and private airstrips as well as 41 commercial airports nationwide. Only the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the country’s premier airport, is under the supervision of the Manila International Airport Authority.
In a statement, Hotchkiss directed operators in all 81 aviation facilities to draft and enforce CAAP-approved safety action plans and programs to address the incursion of people and livestock in airport safety areas. These areas include the runway, taxiway, ramp and apron.
He reminded them to comply with regulations and best practices in aviation safety.
Hotchkiss said, “Airport safety programs should specifically address the subject of runway incursion prevention as it relates to the safe operations of aircraft traffic and aerodrome management as well as vehicular and pedestrian movement in the maneuvering area.”
CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio explained that the presence of people and animals on the runway would endanger landing aircraft, which might run over or collide with them as foreign object debris (FOD).
Apolonio pointed out that in some airports, vehicular traffic would go through the runway, which should not be the case. “Instead of going around the runway, some vehicles use the area as a shortcut to the other side,” he said, adding that there were instances where vehicles raced across the runway seconds after a plane touched down.
As for stray livestock, he said, they left dung that could cause the aircraft’s engines to conk out.
On March 23, the Philippine Airlines (PAL) claimed that one of its planes ran over clumps of carabao dung at the Ozamis City airport.
PAL reported the incident to the CAAP as a safety concern when manure stuck to the engines and body of the aircraft as it landed.
For its efforts in proactively preventing runway incursions, Hotchkiss cited the Laoag International Airport’s (LIA) community outreach program, which included an information campaign to increase the safety and security awareness of people living near the facility.
According to the CAAP director general LIA authorities held a seminar for some 1,400 members of Barangays Apaya, Araniw, Gabu Sur, and Gabu Norte, all in Laoag City, highlighting aviation safety and security regulations including the danger posed by migratory birds, runway incursions of vehicles and livestock, as well as kids flying kites.
Hotchkiss said that the activity improved the peace and order at the LIA, preventing incidents of encroachment and pilferage.