NAIA runway now open after Lionair plane that crashed has been removed
Runway 06/24 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has been opened on Monday morning after the Lionair plane that crashed and caught fire before takeoff on Sunday was removed.
Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) spokesperson Eric Apolonio told Dobol B sa News TV in an interview Runway 06/24 was opened at 5:04 a.m. and NAIA operations are now back to normal.
"Clear na," Apolonio said.
A WestWind 24 aircraft operated by Lionair Inc. crashed and caught fire on Sunday night, killing all eight people on board.
The said plane was on a medevac mission to Japan and was scheduled to land at Haneda Airport.
"Kagabi pa nandu'n ang investigators," Apolonio said.
"Sinara ang runway para ma-clear at makuha ang debris," he said.
Apolonio said the accident happened at 7:58 p.m. as the plane was rolling before take-off.
He added that investigators will check if the plane had a black box recorder.
The casualties included one American, one Canadian, and six Filipinos, MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal said in a news conference on Sunday night a couple of hours after the accident.
Monreal also confirmed that among those onboard the flight were a medic, a nurse, a doctor, flight crew, and patient, and a companion.
The plane "reportedly encountered a technical problem," CAAP said. CAAP Deputy Director General for Operations Captain Donald Mendoza said on Sunday that Manila tower already expressed alarm at the inability of the airplane to take flight considering its size.
He said that the aircraft was airworthy and the pilots' licenses was valid. A day before the accident, the plane flew to Iloilo for delivery of medical supplies.
The fire was put out about an hour after the incident.
Meanwhile, aviation authorities were looking to ground Lionair Inc.'s entire fleet given that the Sunday night plane fire took place a little less than seven months after another Lionair medevac flight crashed in Calamba, Laguna.
"Right now, the initial step that we are looking into is grounding the whole fleet. It's quite alarming, but we are looking into the records deeply," Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Deputy Director-General for Operations Captain Don Mendoza said in a press conference.
Nine people were killed in the Calamba plane crash. —KG, GMA News