Thursday, July 2, 2009

Philippines Airport Caticlan (Boracay) gets new Air Traffic Rules

Landings and takeoffs at the Philippines' Caticlan airport have been restricted pending the lengthening of its runway and the flattening of a hill that obstructs one of is approaches.

Aircraft can only use runway 06 for landing and runway 24 for taking off, says the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

The move comes after a Xian Aircraft MA60 turboprop operated by Zest Airways overshot the runway while trying to land on runway 24. Nobody was hurt in the accident.

Jose Saplan, chief of the aircraft accidents investigations board at the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, tells ATI there are plans to lengthen the runway by 100m and flatten the mountain obstructing runway 24.

He says the landing and takeoff restrictions will remain until the expansion project is complete.

The project has been tendered, but negotiations are still necessary with land owners who may be affected by the plan, he adds.

Caticlan airport sits across a narrow strait of water from the resort island of Boracay.

3 comments:

  1. Hi as a concerned ZestAir passenger who was just informed a few hours ago that his family's flight tom. was not only moved from 11am to 1pm but rerouted over to Kalibo instead of Caticlan, which adds a total delay of 3.5 hours
    inclusive of an additional land trip of 1.5 hours,am very irritated by:
    1. we are traveling with an infant (that's why we chose caticlan to lessen travel exposure! to
    specifically avoid the land trip!);
    2. the last minute method/effort (what if they weren't able to contact me?)plus the fact that
    3. they ruined 1 day of the trip cause we'll be arriving when the sun goes down and
    4. the fact that they said I don't have a choice in the matter really irks me and that they will not do anything about it! and
    5. I have a returning flight on July 7 that may have the same problems all over again - but I'm sure they'll call me on Sunday night to inform me about it!!!

    I paid for 3 seats for a flight to Caticlan at 11am and I'm getting a flight to Kalibo at 1pm with an extra 1.5 hours of travel (which may even be uncomfortable at the rate it's going!) I can't back out cause we're attending a family wedding, i've already paid for our hotel stay, plus all other flights are booked except for PAL that's 2.5x more expensive (can't afford to add 15-20k for the 2 way trip).

    What I would like for them to do is transfer us to PAL flight to Caticlan and problem solved. But if that isn't possible, it's only fair for them to make sure
    1. we have EXTREMELY comfortable land tranfers and
    2. reimburse us back the portion of the fuel, service, etc we paid for the extra mileage to Caticlan (since we've been rerouted to a shorter destination) and
    3. give us something for the PRECIOUS TIME they took away from us.

    I think it's only fair for all the crap they're giving all of us!

    Sorry for the long rant Mark, but as an expert in the industry, what can you suggest we do?

    Thanks in advance

    LML

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  2. LML

    A difficult situation to be sure. I guess the bottom line is safety. Zest have now crashed twice for the same reason on Caticlan. I think I would opt for the kalibo option, rather than risk a third incident, especially if my family is on board. Regards Mark

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  3. Hi Mark, thanks for your reply. Sorry just got back to it now - This is what I did, I booked a morning flight at PAL which cost me an additional 8k, and booked a return flight via PAL at Kalibo (as the return for Caticlan was 5k/head more expensive - good thing too cause all flights from Caticlan that day were rerouted to Kalibo anyway, that sucks for those who paid 4 times more!). The 8k was worth telling Zest air to shove their flight up where the sun dont shine! Hence, I opted for the refund. How liberating! Unfortunately, half the laugh was on Zest air's side, as they would refund the money 30-60 days after! In short, I paid more than double for everything for now! But I feel glad about the choice I made cause, the rest of the entourage had really bad stories to tell - in the airport at 10am, arrived at Boracay 1130pm! flight was delayed twice or thrice!

    Anyway, thanks again! Fly safe!

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