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Damaged runway, condo blamed for flight diversions

Sen. Joseph Victor “JV’’ Ejercito disclosed yesterday that the frequent flight diversions at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is caused by a damaged runway Instrument Landing System (ILS) since July, 2016.

Adding to woes experienced by pilots in landing procedures is the existence of a five-year condominium built years ago beside the NAIA, Ejercito said.

Appearing before the Senate finance committee chaired by Sen. Loren Legarda that went over the proposed 2017 P56.249 billion budget of the Department of Transportation (DoTr), Capt. Manuel Antonio Tamayo, Deputy Director-General of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), said the ILS was hit by lightning a year and four months ago.

And aviation officials blamed the slow replacement of the ILS to the fact that there is only one supplier of the specific ILS and that it cost $70 million or P3.290 billion, Tamayo said.

Tamayo said the new ILS would arrive in the country next month.

Asked by Legarda whether it is dangerous for planes to land in succession without the ILS, Tamayo said landing the jet planes would be “less efficient’’ but not dangerous since the NAIA has two navigational aids in place of the ILS.

“Lately, I’ve been noticing the frequency of flight diversions. It is just curious that even if there is no typhoon, and it is just raining or there is a monsoon rain, many flights have been diverted to Clark International Airport. I found out recently that the ILS of Runway 24 is broken and has not been in use for more than a year. Another problem that aggravated this is a condominium situated at C-5 and is obstructing the flight path,” Ejercito said.
(Mario Casayuran)