KALIBO, Aklan — A plane loaded with passengers bound for Singapore skidded off the runway of the Kalibo International Airport (KIA) yesterday, temporarily paralyzing airport operations.
Seair Airbus A320 was about to make a turnaround before taking off amid the rainy weather at about 8:30 a.m. when its front wheels overshot the runway, said Engr. Percy Malonesio, chief of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) here.
At least 39 passengers — mostly Koreans, Chinese and Filipinos — were onboard. None of them were hurt. Miscalculation and pilot error were being blamed for the accident.
Malonesio told dzBB radio that they had to temporarily shutdown airport operations while documenting the accident, which includes taking photos of the plane.
All incoming and departing flights at the airport were cancelled after the incident. Incoming flights were diverted to either Caticlan or Iloilo airports while the Seair plane was stranded on the runway.
Personnel from the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Kalibo police station responded and secured the runway. The passengers and the crew members were evacuated toward the KIA’s Departure Area.
Airport operations resumed as soon as CAAP personnel removed the plane at about 1:45 p.m., Malonesio said. The CAAP continued investigating the incident.
Seair, the plane’s owner, was an affiliate of Tiger Airways. It started operating at the KIA on July 18, flying Singapore–Kalibo–Singapore three times a week.
The Tiger Airways’ management apologized for the incident. “There is no cause for alarm, as the aircraft and the passengers are safe,” Bert Yap, Tiger Airways’ vice president for operations, told Panay News in a text message late yesterday afternoon.
Yap said the passengers were safe and were billeted at the Hotel Esperanza for their next available flight to Singapore.
He said their aircraft “will be towed back to the ramp for inspection and further release for flight.” By Ernan Baldomero. (With a report from Jun Aguirre and GMA News)
Source: Panay News