Davao loses P250M in 2 days due to runway mishap

Subscribe Now June 05, 2013 at 07:56am

The temporary closure of the Davao International Airport (DIA) since Sunday evening has a major impact to the local economy, said Davao City Investment Promotions Center chief Jason Magnaye, estimating losses at almost P250 million.

The DIA was closed after a Cebu Pacific plane skidded off the runway amid heavy rains Sunday night. Normal operations only resumed Tuesday evening after the aircraft was removed.

“Conservative estimate of losses to the local economy since yesterday is around P250 million,” the Facebook fan page of the City Government of Davao posted Tuesday, quoting Magnaye.

In a follow-up interview over the phone, Magnaye said the estimate on the economic losses was made based on the booking cancellations that also affected the volume of cargos to be shipped out from and to Davao City.

He said the actual losses could be bigger since the affected air passengers were directed to the General Santos International Airport, which might have resulted in an additional cost on the part of the passengers.

Conservative estimates of losses are: P3 million for cancelled hotel bookings; P500,000 for airport concessionaires; P1.5 million for transport service providers (vans, cabs, tourist buses, and car rentals); P50 million for other allied industries; P2 million for airport terminal revenues; and P190 million for cargo, for a total of P247 million.

"Marami pang hindi na factor in," he said, adding that stores within the DIA and those from allied service sectors are the most affected with the blocking of a Cebu Pacific aircraft's left wing to the runway of the airport since the incident Sunday evening.

He also said that no less than Davao City Chamber of Commerce Daniel Lim called him up so that they can work together in pressuring the management of DIA to immediately get the airplane out of the runway.

A little past 5 p.m. Tuesday, the Cebu Pacific Facebook page posted a photo of the belly part of the plane shown on the runway with the post: “The aircraft is now on the runway, and is being towed. Thank you for your patience and continued support, every Juan!”

Magnaye said the plane was being towed toward the hangar of the old airport where it will not impede any airport operations.

On Monday, Francisco Bangoy International Airport manager Frederick San Felix said a big number of passengers have been affected, estimating at least 3,000 passengers who fly to and from the city on 56 daily flights and 14 twice to four-times weekly flights.

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) Deputy Director General John Andrews said Tuesday that a pilot error was seen behind the runway mishap, since the investigating team they sent could not find anything wrong with the engine of the aircraft.

He said they will send to Singapore the aircraft's flight data recorder for analysis.

Andrews also explained that the airplane first landed not on the carriageway of the runway, but "the right wheel touched down very, very close to the edge of the grass portion."

The plane was removed from the runway around 8 p.m. Tuesday, paving the way for the resumption of normal operations at the DIA.

Cebu Pacific said that flights to and from Davao will be back to normal starting Wednesday, June 5, adding it brought in a team of experts from the Singapore Airlines Engineering Company to remove the aircraft.

“The runway was cleared at approximately 7 p.m. today, June 4,” the airline said in an advisory.

The DIA, however, is facing an administrative case set to be filed by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio before the Office of the Ombudsman for its lack of emergency response to the overshooting of the Cebu Pacific plane.

“Wala pa nahuman ang draft kay ilang ginatarong ilang timeline kay basig mali-mali ang oras (The draft complaint is still being finalized, we’re making sure the timeline is correct),” Duterte-Carpio said.

She is also offering free legal services to passengers who want to sue the airline and the airport authorities.

The mayor also demanded that airport management submit a written explanation on why there were no quick emergency procedures followed when the incident happened.

She said they need the written explanation after the incident caused major inconvenience to all, adding that the report has to be submitted by 5 p.m. today, Wednesday.

San Felix, in response, said they are willing to face any complaint filed against them.

Source: sunstar.com.ph

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