Three passenger aircraft failed to touch down on time at the Zamboanga Cit airport on Friday due to a "missing" air traffic controller.
A GMA Flash Report quoted Civil Aviation Authority manager Celso Bayabos as saying that the three airplanes were supposed to land at the airport at scheduled intervals.
However, the airplanes’ respective pilots ended up refusing to land after realizing that no airport officer was stationed at the control tower to guide them on their descent.
The incident forced the three airplanes to hover in the air for a good one hour, before the pilots took the matters into their hands and decided to talk to one another over the radio to decide who would land first.
Bayabos said an air traffic controller was actually on duty at the time of the incident but had just reported late for work. He said the airport management is already dealing with the tardy controller and mulling for a possible reprimand.
Bayabos stressed that it was the first time that such incident ever happened at the Zamboanga airport and assured it would never happen again.
A number of flights were briefly delayed but airport operations have already gone back to normal after the incident. -