Condominium blamed for obstructing Naia flight path
After a “photobomber” at the Rizal Monument in Luneta Park comes another “obstruction” at the flight path of incoming aircrafts at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito said on Wednesday.
Ejercito was referring to the Cypress Tower along C-5 road in Taguig City, which he said is a project of DMCI Project Developers Inc. It was also DMCI that developed the controversial Torre de Manila condominium at the Luneta Park.
He said he has been receiving complaints that the tower is blocking the flight path of incoming aircraft at the airport, which could be one of the reasons why many flights had been diverted to Clark International Airport.
Because of the tower, he said he was told that the 300 feet minimum decision altitude (MDA) of aircrafts to land had been adjusted to 900 feet.
“Probably that’s one of the reasons why the aircraft with bad, poor visibility, mas madalas ngayon ang (flight) diversions (have been diverted more often),” Ejercito said during the hearing of the Senate committee on finance on the proposed 2017 budget of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
“Nabanggit ko kasi dati, I’ve been receiving complaints that ‘yung Cypress Tower along C-5 is almost at the flight path of incoming aircraft…Is it one of the factors, the Cypress Tower, in [increasing] the minimum decision altitude (MDA) na dating 300 (feet), naging 900 (feet)? Marami hong mada-divert (na flights) because of that di ho ba?” the senator asked.
(I have mentioned before that I have been receiving complaints that the Cypress Tower on C-5 is almost at the flight path of incoming aircraft. Is the Cypress Tower one of the reasons in [increasing] the minimum decision altitude from 300 feet to 900 feet? Won’t many flights get diverted because of it?)
Manuel Antonio Tamayo, deputy director general for administration of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) confirmed that the MDA was adjusted “specifically because of this tower.”
“I’d agree Mr. Senator. This was done several years ago. They had to adjust the minimum decision height for the non- position approach specifically because of this tower,” Tamayo said.
“However, if we use the ILS (Instrument Landing System) approach—‘yun hong ILS approach—we can still descend to 375 feet and the aircraft will be approximately 1.5 miles away from the runway,” he explained.
Tamayo pointed out that the “non-position approach” was the only one affected by the building.
Asked by Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the committee, if the building would pose danger to the public, the CAAP official said: “Now, it’s not because we increased the minimum decision altitude.”
“So you have to adjust because of a building? It’s a condominium, it could have been avoided,” Legarda said.
It was Ejercito, who responded to Legarda’s remarks.
“Madam, you will be surprised, (if you find out) who the developer is. Before it was just a photobomber in Rizal. Now it’s an obstruction in the flight path,” he said.
Asked by Legarda what he meant by his statement, Ejercito said: “I think it’s developed by DMCI also, di ho ba (am I correct)?”
Legarda then asked the CAAP official if it has been a practice that the air traffic is the one adjusting with infrastructures or of it is the other way around.
“Definitely ma’am, it should be regulated,” Tamayo said. IDL
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