Uncoordinated flights at NAIA is safe – CAAP

Marlene Singson, aerodrome division chief of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP). INQUIRER.NET PHOTO/CATHY MIRANDA

THE Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines told the House of Representatives that the uncoordinated flights of airlines at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport posed no danger in terms of air safety.

CAAP Aerodrome Division Chief Marlene Singson made this claim during the recent House panel probe on Xiamen Air crash landing incident that paralyzed the airport and airline operations. She said there would be no breach in air safety despite certain incoming flights which are not in the priority list or do not have proper flight schedules.

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Furthermore, Singson explained that some of these uncoordinated flights asking to land to Manila airport that were given permission might be flying low on fuel.

“They are already here, and we cannot refuse their requests,” Singson said, adding that some of these aircraft are flying for more than four hours in Manila airspace, “so we give them permission to land.”

However, Singson pointed out that they have instructed airlines planning for recovery flights and whose aircraft are still in the port of origin to avoid or not to proceed NAIA.

There are 40 commercial fights and two events for general aviation for (42) landing and (42) takeoff an hour at NAIA. But sometimes it exceeded the takeoff and landing slot because of some uncoordinated flights.

Singson said airlines that have proper flight schedules have been given air traffic rights – entry and exit clearance within 72-hour validity.

About 78 uncoordinated flights were recorded to have landed to Manila without even getting permission from Philippine aviation authorities during Xiamen Air incident.

Meanwhile, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Ed Monreal said local and international airlines who made uncoordinated flights will be penalized. He noted that they are after the 37 out of 78 local and foreign airlines that created congestion at the NAIA right after the Xiamen Air mishap.

“If the plane carrying 200 passengers, we will fine the airlines PhP5,000 for each passenger, and it depends on how big the aircraft,” Monreal said, adding the bigger the aircraft, the more passengers it will carry.

He pointed out that these coordinated flights were the ones who made the airport/runway congested. Ramp controllers at the NAIA terminal 1 have a hard time relocating the aircraft from different airlines.

Some of these planes stayed at the remote parking bay as well as the taxiway of the runway, Monreal added.

Some of the airlines who made uncoordinated flights are: Asiana Airlines with 1 arrival and 1 departure; China Eastern, 1 arrival; China Southern, 2 arrivals; Etihad Airlines, 2 arrivals; Eva Air, 1; Gulf Air, 1; Japan Airlines, 2; Jeju Airlines, 2; Korean Airlines, 1, Kuwait Airways, 1; Malaysia Airlines, 2; Qantas Airlines, 1; Air Brunei, 1; Xiamen Air, 4, Philippine Airlines, 3, Hong Kong Airlines, 2; Air China, 2; Oman Air, 1; Qatar Airways, 1; Thai Airways, 1.


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Benjie Vergara
A veteran reporter covering the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. He is currently writing for Manila Times, the Philippines' oldest newspaper.

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