THE CHINESE AIRLINE whose handicapped airliner caused the closure last Friday, August 17, of a runway at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) apologized for that incident, even if Philippine officials considered possible sanctions against the company.
In a statement on Monday, XiamenAir said in part: "The continuing thunderstorms have caused enormous problems in the movement of the aircraft, leaving the main runway at Manila Airport more than 32 hours."
A Xiamen passenger plane dropped Thursday night 06/24 from NAIA on Thursday evening amid heavy rainfall, which reduced or delayed the number of flights and overcrowding from the airport to the weekend.
"Xiamen Airlines apologizes to all passengers affected by the incident and will make every effort to assist," said the company.
In his press conference on Monday, General Manager Ed V. Monreal of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said his agency could not punish the airline in question, but said MIAA had expressed all his concerns.
"We will certainly ask their attention to follow the right protocol … There may be a consequence, but I can not qualify or quantify what punishments we will impose, but then again ang importante sa ganitong sitwasyon ay kooperasyon (what is important in such a case is cooperation), "said Mr. Monreal.
He said that on Monday morning MIAA met a delegation of 11 men from XiamenAir. He noted that the airlines pay for the costs that the incident entails, but that they still have to calculate the exact figure.
"There are many losses … consecutive and intangible expenses or losses," Monreal said.
In turn, President Spokesman Harry L. Roque Jr. said in a Palace briefing on Monday: "It is not just an apology we will ask for. We are now conducting an investigation if there is any liability of the Xiamen. pilot, so he was asked not to leave the country, which is part of an ongoing investigation. & # 39;
A first report from Air Accident and Incident Investigation Board, partially noted: "The Pilot in Command (PIC) or the captain is a Korean man, who is 50 years old and has a total time of 16,000 flight hours with 7,000 hours of aircraft type Boeing 737-800 The first officer or co-pilot is a Chinese man of 28 years old, with a total total time of 950 flight hours and 750 hours on the type of aircraft of Boeing 737-800. "
"The result of the drug tests was negative, and we are still waiting for the results of the alcohol tests, because this would take a long time, but we expect to have the results today." At the moment there is an ongoing investigation and an interview with the pilots and cabin crew, "the report said.
The Department of Tourism (DoT) said in its statement: "Our DOT Airport Offices have been instructed to provide all possible assistance to those affected by this incident."
"We will agree with airlines and airport authorities to further discuss the cases of compensation for delayed / canceled flights and delayed / lost baggage in the interest of all parties," added the statement, which also makes "sincere apologies" all our local and foreign tourists who are affected by the aircraft accident in Xiamen Airways. "
The Philippines Management Association (MAP) urged the government in a statement on Monday to speed up the recovery of the Manila port and the expansion of Clark International Airport.
"The MAP urges the adoption of an airport implementation strategy whereby the existing NAIA and Clark international airports are developed and operated as an integrated system where the two airports complement each other, ideally with an express train connection," according to the business group.
MAP also said: "We have strong objections to closing NAIA – which we consider to be a very drastic and counterproductive move." NAIA is a strategically located air gateway supported by an already installed road system and with a nearby railway and future metro lines to to meet the needs of airline passengers in Mega-Manila and Southern Luzon, and the intention is to build the first international cruise terminal of Manila in the near future. "
"A city airport, such as NAIA, has the big advantage of easy access, in addition to supporting the local economy, and the advantages must not be ignored, as many metropolises in the world recognize this reality – their old city airports, rather than being phased out as before. intended for the benefit of newer major airports in the suburbs, for example Tokyo Haneda is being expanded to supplement Narita, Shanghai has its HongXiao next to Pudong, London City Airport at Canary Wharf, Reagan Airport in Washington DC, La Guardia in New York City Even Bangkok is keeping Don Muang at Suvarnabhumi Airport. & # 39;
In the Senate, Senator Grace S. Poe-Llamanzares filed a resolution on Monday to investigate the accident.
Mrs. Poe & # 39; s Senate Resolution No. 852 also quoted the Air Passenger Bill of Rights, which offers passengers benefits in times of flight delays or cancellations. The policy was issued in 2012 as a joint administrative order from the then Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
In the House of Representatives, Quezon City representative Winston T. Castelo told reporters in a press conference, Monday: "I think Congressman (Cesar V.) Sarmiento from the Committee on Transport (the incident) will examine motu proprio on September 5. " – Denise A. Valdez, with Camille A. Aguinaldo, Arjay L. Balinbin, and Charmaine A. Tadalan