Mactan-Cebu airport open 12 hours daily for 14 days: CAAP
Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) has resumed partial operations , the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said Tuesday.
In an interview with dzBB, CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio said flights will operate from 5 am to 5 pm because the Korean Air plane that overshot the runway has not yet been removed.
“The sunrise to sunset operations at the airport will start today. The flights will operate from 5 am to 5 pm because the plane has not been extracted from the runway,” Apolonio said. Partial operations for flights will be for 14 days.
“The rain has made it more difficult because it makes the land that the plane is standing on mud, which also makes it harder to retrieve the plane,” he added.
Personnel from Korean Air and from Korea’s Civil Aviation arrived last night to assist with the removal of the plane, Apolonio told dzBB.
Apolonio said the approach lights at the end of the runway were damaged.
“There is lighting equipment at the end of the runway. Unfortunately, the airplane is on top of it, so we couldn’t repair it. We have to extract the plane before we can completely repair the lights and use them for operations…That’s why we can only operate until 6 (pm) because we need to check if all the lights on the runway are operational,” Apolonio said.
Apolonio said investigators are still at work and the crew are undergoing drug tests as part of the investigation.
MCIA Assistant General Manager Glenn Napuli said it may take two days to extract the plane while it could take 14 days to repair the affected approach lights on the runway, dzBB said in a separate report.
According to Napuli, vehicles in the airport area have been stuck due to extreme muddiness, so they will need to make temporary roads to prepare the area for the equipment that will be used to remove the plane.
The 300-tonner crane which will be used to extract the plane is in place.
Airport officials plan to shorten the 3.3 km runway to 2.7 km, dzBB said.
MCIA has finished installing threshold lights and painting the runway which will allow them to continue operations until the Korean Air plane is removed and the approach lights are repaired. Jaspearl Tan/DMS