Bulacan airport closed pending crash probe
PLARIDEL, Bulacan — The airport here has been ordered closed pending investigation of the crash of a lightplane that killed 10 people on March 17, the airport manager said on Monday.
Eduardo Lansang made the announcement following a closed-door meeting with Plaridel officials, who discussed measures that would prevent another crash in populated communities near the airport.
The six-seat plane, chartered for a flight to Laoag City, smashed into a house in Barangay Lumang Bayan just after it took off from the airport before noon on Saturday.
Killed were the pilot and his four passengers as well as the five people who were taking their lunch in the house.
Lansang said the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines wanted to know whether “obstruction at the airport or the pilot’s shortcomings” caused the crash. He declined to give more details.
The airport shutdown would affect 230 daily flights, mostly
of training planes of 10 aviation schools operating nearby, he said.
A proposal raised at the meeting was to make the closure permanent since the airport may be too close to the residential areas, said Mayor Jocell Vistan, who attended the meeting.
Plaridel’s comprehensive land-use plan classifies Barangay Lumang Bayan, which hosts the airport, as a special airport and residential zone. —Carmela Reyes-Estrope
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