MANILA, Philippines — The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines ordered the closure of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for five hours after midnight Friday to give way to emergency repairs on one of its runways, causing delays and diversion of international flights.
In a text advisory, the CAAP said a portion of Runway 06/24, which mainly serves international flights, was closed from 12 midnight Friday to 5 a.m. Saturday, affecting eight Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air flights, which had to be diverted to Clark International Airport before they were allowed to make it back to NAIA.
“The runway was not available both for landing and takeoff,” the text message from CAAP said.
The CAAP said it issued a Notice to Airmen (Notam) a few hours earlier after it was told by the Manila International Airport Authority, which runs the NAIA, that the runway had to undergo repairs, said CAAP spokesman Eric Apolonio.
The announcement came late, however, prompting the airlines to apologize to passengers for the inconvenience they had to go through.
“We hope for our passengers’ understanding as this is beyond the airline’s control,” Cebu Pacific Air said in its post on Twitter. “We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused by the runway repairs in NAIA T3. This was announced by MIAA evening of September 5.”
Due to the NAIA closure on Saturday, the following flights had to be diverted to Clark International Airport:
PAL105 from San Francisco, which landed in Clark at 3:40 a.m.;
PAL103 from Los Angeles, which landed in Clark at 3:51 a.m.;
PAL117 from Vancouver, Canada landed at 3:46 a.m.;
PAL419 from Incheon, South Korea at 12:57a.m;
PAL311 from Hong Kong landed at 12:09 a.m.;
Cebu Pacific flights CEB143 from Hong Kong landed at 12:23 a.m.;
CEB185 from Incheon, Soputh Korea, landed at 12:48 a.m.; and
CEB269 from Xiamen, China, landed at 12:30 a.m.