Press Release
August 21, 2018


With the August 17 closure of Ninoy Aquino International Airport's (NAIA's) main runway, a case of history repeating itself, Senator Richard J. Gordon put forward a measure that could prevent a similar incident from occurring again or could at least lessen the damage.

Gordon, founding chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) proposed that the government should outsource dedicated emergency equipment at the NAIA to immediately clear any interruption caused by aircraft crashes from the runway.

The proposal originally sprouted from the lessons he learned from a similar fiasco in 1995 when a China Airlines Jet bound for Taiwan blocked the NAIA runway on December 13 and international flights had to be diverted to the Subic Bay International Airport, which at that time, had the most advanced radar and airport navigational aids in the country.

"We could have avoided or at least lessened damage, with vision and knowledge from the lessons taken in that similar fiasco in 1995, we could outsource dedicated emergency equipment at NAIA to immediately remove any interruption caused by aircraft crashes from the runway," he said.

Gordon also stressed the urgency for the SBIA to be immediately opened, restored, upgraded, and operated as an alternate airport, adding that he has already appropriated P553-million from the 2017 General Appropriations Act for the restoration of facilities and procurement of digital radar systems, and instrument landing systems, among others.

"Pinagtulungan namin ni Amy Eisma (current SBMA chairman) na malagyan ng pera yan para magawa yang airport na yan. Our country could have avoided and reduced the stress and inconvenience it caused to stranded passengers, not to mention the international reputational damage we are all now encountering, by diverting some of the flights not only to Clark, but also to Subic. This is not a Monday Morning Quarterbacking or the day after the game brilliant thinking," he said.

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