MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Civil servants investigating last week's accident with Xiamen Air at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) brought the Passenger Airplane passenger data recorder to Singapore for analysis yesterday.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) spokesman, Eric Apolonio, the Aircraft Accident Investigation and Inquiry Board (AAIIB) headed by Rommel Ronda and Renier Baculinao left for Singapore with the aircraft's black box.
Apolonio said that both officers had the task of CAAP Director-General Jim Sydiongco to get the results "as soon as possible".
Apolonio said Singapore officials assured them that it would take a week to decode the plane's data recorder.
Sydiongco added the combined staff of the Manila International Airport Authority and CAAP struggled to get the 43-ton Chinese plane out of the mud.
"First hour is the rescue, second is the investigation and the assessment and thirdly we can not just bring in the 43 ton B737-800 plane with several thousand reserved aviation gases … We have to remove it first because there is a little inflammation is going to blow up the whole operation, "Sydiongco said.
He said the civil aviation authorities had a meeting with Xiamen Airlines management about the course of the investigation.
Sydiongco added that the Xiamen officials had certainty that they would bear the costs of handling aircraft and repairing the runway caused by the accident.
Meanwhile, Philippine Airlines (PAL) said it will issue certifications to passengers of migrant workers who were affected by the Xiamen Air accident among thousands.
PAL spokesman Cielo Villaluna said they will issue certificates declaring the delay of their flights due to the unfortunate incident that blocks NAIA's main course.
The entry visas of OFWs that had fled to Riyadh and Dammam had expired after they could not fly because of the accident.
The certifications would be addressed to the employers of the OFWs that were affected by the delayed flights, she said.
"We thank the Civil Aviation Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) for approving the triangular flight – Manila / Riyadh / Dammam / Manila – so our kababayans, our OFW & # 39; s are able to fly back and resume employment, "Villaluna said.
In view of the recent cancellation of the flight to Saudi Arabia and the closure of the NAIA runway, PAL has recently started replacement battles to accommodate displaced passengers on their way to Riyadh and Dammam.
"PAL sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience caused by cancellation of flights, and we are looking for the understanding of our passengers and their families when we make the necessary adjustments for full normalization of flights," Villaluna said.
On the other hand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that at least 178 migrant workers affected by the accident on the runway had made use of the P5,000 financial aid.
The DFA had also instructed Philippine embassies and consulates abroad to make statements, if necessary, to explain to foreign employers that the delay in the arrival of their Filipino workers was caused by the accident with the job.
Following last week's accident on the NAIA runway that affected tens of thousands of passengers on canceled and delayed flights, different sectors stressed the need to improve air transport services.
An infrastructure-oriented think tank said the Danilo Atienza airbase at Sangley Point, Cavite, could have been a better option for diverted flights during the Xiamen Air incident if the Department of Transportation (DOTr) had acted in proposals to activate it or to rehabilitate for general aviation use.
Terry Ridon, the chairman of Infrawatch PH and former president of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor, said that the lack of action at the various airport proposals for an alternative to the single-runway NAIA amounted to serious negligence.
"What needs to be recorded is the unacceptable slowdown that many airport advocates are experiencing at the transport agency, and the unsolicited Sangley proposal has been on the table since 2016," said Ridon.
"The Bulacan airport proposal has already been approved by the Investment Coordination Committee, but the final approval is still in favor of the DOTr," he added.
Ridon said the Sangley proposal could be completed within 12 months at no cost to the government.
Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo, for his part, suggested the NAIA should be privatized.
Castelo said it would be more efficient if the private sector could run the premier gateway.
He said that the bureaucracy makes Manila airport inefficient, as happened last weekend when a Xiamen Air aircraft struck off the only runway suitable for wide aircraft.
"We should not let such an accident ever happen again, it embarrassed us to the world, which is a shame and ailing, that a single non-lethal incident kept the whole airport on the radar for days and the authorities took so long to remove the plane, "Castelo said.
By the time the Chinese jet aircraft was finally towed, thousands of departing passengers had stuck to the airport and NAIA officials did not know what to do except blame airlines, Castelo added.
He pointed out that the officials could not even prevent dozens of "uncoordinated" flights from contributing to the chaos.
Castelo said the privatization of NAIA and the development of Clark International Airport in Angeles City are the short-term solutions to the congestion problem at Manila Airport.
"We can not wait for the construction of a new airport, which will take years to come, and we need solutions in the short term," he emphasized.
Castelo is in the Transport committee of the House of Representatives, who will look at the plane crash in Xiamen on 5 September.
He said the sole purpose of the investigation is to determine who should be held financially responsible for losses suffered by other airlines, NAIA and passengers.
"We can not just charge that to experience, some people have to be held liable – the airport authorities or Xiamen Air," he said. – Jess Diaz, Pia Lee-Brago, Richmond Mercurio, Rainier Allan Ronda