Senator Dick Gordon questioned the time it took the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to address the crisis at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) caused by a Xiamen Air jet that skidded off the main runway recently.
Gordon said if the emergency response to the crisis did not conform with international standards, there may be need to inject some improvements to the system of regulatory response or crisis management.
“We have to study how the concerned agencies reacted to this incident. Example, how long did it take to evacuate the passengers out of the plane? Was there NAIA equipment and personnel involved or only airline personnel? Was the reaction time, in evacuating passengers/removing the plane, per international standards? If yes, then we should announce. If not, what has to be done to improve?” the seasoned lawmaker said.
The veteran lawmaker reiterated his earlier proposal to outsource dedicated emergency response equipment at the NAIA since such incidents could really occur given unforeseen factors such as pilot error and instrument landing failure, among others.
“While accidents do happen, we can take preparatory measures so we can lessen the damage should an accident occur.”
“While accidents do happen, we can take preparatory measures so we can lessen the damage should an accident occur. The fiasco affected thousands of passengers and caused substantial flight cancellations. If there was an emergency response team on standby, complete with the necessary equipment, it would have taken a shorter period to resolve the problem,” the senator said.
“If there was an emergency response team on standby, complete with the necessary equipment, it would have taken a shorter period to resolve the problem.”
The DOTr had been criticized for alleged inefficiency in handling the Xiamen Air mishap and the time it took to remove the disabled aircraft.
Xiamen Air Flight MF8667 skidded off NAIA’s runway 06/24 before midnight last August 16. No injuries were reported, but the mishap resulted in dozens of flight cancellations. The disabled plane was removed the runway at 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 18 and was transferred to the Balabag Aviation Complex.