Philippine airport authorities, have removed the heavily-damaged Xiamen Airlines passenger plane, that skidded off the runway of Manila International Airport on Thursday, authorities said today (Saturday). However, a staff from the operation centre of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), said that, the runway will not be opened until noon.
Manila International Airport Authority's (MIAA)'s General Manager, Ed Monreal, confirmed that the affected runway will remain closed until noon.
"A final extension of the runway closure until 12 noon today is necessary, to give way for the demobilisation of heavy equipment, used to lift the aircraft. Simultaneously, clearing the runway of debris and other foreign objects will also be done," Monreal said, in a statement, early Saturday.
Thousands of passengers were stranded in various airports across the country, following the cancellation and delay of more than 130 flights, in all four terminals on Friday. Several incoming flights were also diverted to Clark airport, north of Manila, and Cebu in the central Philippines.
A Xiamen Airlines flight number MF8667 from Xiamen, China, suffered "runway excursion" after landing at the Manila International Airport at 11:55 p.m. on Thursday.
The plane then swerved off the runway and onto a grass safety patch a few metres from the main runway, after a "missed approach" due to "heavy downpour." All passengers and crew were declared safe.
It took more than 24 hours for authorities to remove the plane from the grassy area where it got stuck, causing the closure of the runway and the disruption of the operation of the Philippines' main airport.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK