MANILA (UPDATE) - The capital's main airport reopened its international runway on Tuesday after several hours of repair due to a pothole, its manager said.
The repair works, which started at 1 p.m., caused the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to operate on a limited capacity, Manila International Authority general manager Ed Monreal said.
Monreal said the pothole was situated on the threshold of the main runway and was 2.5 meters long and about .5 meter wide.
"Kapag nag-landing ho kayo galing Sucat area, 'yung runway po natin nandun po yung pothole. So while that is being assessed po, nakapagpa-takeoff pa po tayo ng white body ng 6 na eroplano," he said in an interview with radio DZMM.
(The pothole was situated in the runway from the Sucat landing area. While the situation was being assessed, 3 passenger airplanes were able to take off.)
The emergency repair took 3 hours. The runway opened at 3:50 p.m., said Monreal.
"Mas maganda kung mas mahaba ang curing time. Pero ngayon puwede nang gamitin," he said.
(It would have been better if the curing time was longer, but we can use the runway now.)
Monreal said the pothole would have caused major accidents if it wasn't repaired immediately.
"Kapag mayroong lubak at nandun mismo sa landing spot, eh baka itapon ho pakanan yung eroplano at magkakaroon tayo ng major [accident]. Mahirap ho magbakasakali kaya kami ho ay nagdesisyon na ipatupad kaagad ang pagsasarado at kumpunihin po ang ating runway," he said.
(If there was a pothole on the landing spot, it might thrust the airplane to the right and might cause a major accident. We can't take any chances, which is why we decided to immediately stop the operations and repair the runway.)
At least 27 flights were affected by the repairs -- 9 were cancelled, 7 were delayed and 11 were diverted to other airports, according to Monreal.
"Humihingi ho ako ng paumanhin sa lahat ng naapektuhang pasahero. Talagang ginawa ho namin ito in the interest of the public at para sa operasyon po ng ating paliparan," he said.
(I apologize to all affected passengers. We did the repair in the interest of the public and airport operations.)
The pothole could have been caused by water seepage, he said.
The public may call NAIA flight information through trunkline 87711109 or hotline number 877-8888 loc 8144.