Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Caticlan airport closed after plane conks out on runway

The Caticlan airport was closed again after a 19-seater Seair passenger plane got stuck on the runway when one of its tires burst upon landing on Monday, airport authorities said.

The Seair plane did not carry passengers when the incident occurred 7:34 a.m. Monday, and all three crewmembers on board—the pilot, the co-pilot and a mechanic—were safe, Caticlan airport manager Mecine Torres told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a telephone interview.

The Southeast Asian Airlines flight DG 705 burst its left tire while landing at Runway 06 of the Caticlan airport at around 7:30 a.m., said reports reaching the Manila International Airport Authority, which operates the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminals.

Piloted by Captain James Bihasa with a certain First Officer Cuaresma as co-pilot, the plane left NAIA at around 6:30 a.m. to pick up passengers in Caticlan. The third passenger is an unnamed flight mechanic.
The Let 410 aircraft with registration number 2928 has a seating capacity of 19 passengers.

At the NAIA, at least 15 flights to Caticlan airport were delayed and diverted Monday morning to nearby Kalibo airport.

Mecine said the airport was supposed to resume its operations sometime afternoon of Monday after the plane was towed to the ramp.

The Caticlan airport was previously closed several times after planes either overshot or undershot the runway on landing.

Air Philippines resumed its flights to Boracay on December 1 while that of Cebu Pacific returned on March 1.
Air travelers may view what further flights may be affected at the MIAA website (www.manila-airport.net).

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