MANILA - Authorities are eyeing a P5,000 per passenger fine against airlines that deployed uncoordinated flights at the capital's main airport, which was closed for nearly 2 days in early August, an official said Wednesday.
Thousands of passengers were stranded after a Xiamen Airlines Boeing 737 overshot the runway at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the evening of Aug. 16.
The airport reopened at noon on Aug. 18, but the congestion persisted for days due to 61 uncoordinated flights, officials said.
"May eagerness yung airlines na maka-recover ng flights," said Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Ed Monreal.
(There was eagerness on the part of the airlines to recover flights.)
Protocol dictates that flight schedules be coordinated with the MIAA at least 24 hours before arrival or departure, Monreal said.
The P5,000 per passenger flight was based on previous sanctions against Cebu Pacific over flight delays and cancellations, he said.
Senator Nancy Binay blamed airport officials for the lack of coordination.
"May naglanding doon na 61 na hindi niyo alam? Technically bahay niyo yun may pumasok ng hindi nagpapaaalam," Binay said.
(Sixty-one planes landed. Technically, that's your house. A person entered without asking for permission.)
Senator Grace Poe said the MIAA should adjust its 24-hour coordination policy during emergencies.
"Let go of 24-hour notice para makapag bawas ng pasahero (to ease passenger traffic)," Poe said.