Published: Sunday 19 August, 2018

NAIA Runway Reopens But Regular Flights Prioritized, Stranded Passengers Told to Wait

NAIA runway

Flight have resumed after the main NAIA runway has reopened on Saturday. (ABS CBN News)

After almost 36 hours, the NAIA international runway finally reopened midday Saturday. This after the main NAIA runway was cleared of the Xiamen Airlines plane that skidded off the tarmac on Thursday night.

At 11:28 AM of Saturday, August 18, NAIA runway 06/24 was declared open for flight operations. The announcement brought cheers from the hundreds of stranded passengers at Terminals 1, 2 and 3 who had been waiting to fly out since Friday morning.

But, along with the good news came the bad, only ‘regular’ flights would be accommodated first. This meant that flights scheduled on Saturday were prioritized. The cancelled and delayed flights would only be scheduled from midnight until 6:00 AM of Sunday.

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NAIA management expects several days for the whole system to normalize.

Around 180 flights were affected by the closure of the main NAIA runway after the Chinese plane mishap. It took more than a day to pull it out because the Xiamen Airlines plane was stuck in the mud off the runway where it skidded off upon landing due amid a downpour.

Airport officials said earlier that pulling a plane is far different and more complicated than pulling a truck stranded on a highway after stranded passengers complained why it was taking them so long.

Meanwhile, transport officials said the mishap was an eye opener.

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“This incident served as an eye-opener– a reminder for us to take a second look at the processes, procedures, and protocols of concerned agencies, as well as airlines, so that we may all improve in the future,” said Department of Transportation secretary Arthur Tugade.

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