Cebu Pacific plane skids off NAIA runway
MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) - A Cebu Pacific Airbus A320 aircraft figured in another airport incident, this time at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the country's main gateway and one of the world's busiest.
The aircraft skidded to the right portion of the runway after flight 5J448 landed at 4:16pm from Iloilo on Thursday, June 13, amid heavy rain.
"Five runway edge runway lights were damaged," Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Jose Angel Honrado told Rappler.
He added that no one was harmed and that the pilot was able to taxi the aircraft to NAIA Terminal 3 where Cebu Pacific operates its domestic and international flights.
A June 13 MIAA incident report said the aircraft was carrying 95 passengers — 85 adults, 7 children and 3 infants.
Airport inspectors said they noticed the ramp personnel of Cebu Pacific gathering around the aircraft, and learned about the runway incident after further inquiry.
The incident did not disrupt operations at the NAIA where about 40 flights take off and land every hour in a single runway system.
"The aircraft is currently undergoing a thorough check, and awaiting release back into service. [Cebu Pacific] flights continue to operate as scheduled," the Gokongwei-led budget carrier said in a statement Friday, June 14.
On Thursday, heavy rain led to the diversion of some Manila-bound flights to Clark airport in Pampanga, about 100 kilometers away from NAIA.
On June 2, another Cebu Pacific Airbus aircraft landed on its nose at the grassy part of the Davao International Airport, the country's 3rd busiest airport. The mishap resulted in a 2-day airport closure that stranded thousands of passengers and goods.
Investigation results of the Davao airport incident will be released in a week or two, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).
After the NAIA incident, a lawmaker from Davao reiterated his call to probe Cebu Pacific's budget airline operations. Davao City Rep. Karlos Nograles called for the grounding of all Cebu Pacific pilots.
"We cannot wait for a more serious accident to happen. We are talking here about back-to-back mishaps happening in a span of a few weeks. These are tell-tale signs of grave danger to the public," he said in a statement Friday.
Cebu Pacific is the Philippines' biggest domestic airline operator. The Gokongwei-led airline carried 9.48 million passengers or 46% of the total in 2012. - Rappler.com
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