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Kaya naman pala: Flight diversions triggered by defective ILS – JV

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The frequent flight diversions at Ninoy Aquino International Airport is due to the runway’s defective Instrument Landing System (ILS), which he said has been non-operational for the past one year and a half, Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito said on Wednesday.

Aside from that, a condominium built beside NAIA further complicated the problem.

“Lately, I’ve been noticing the frequency of flight diversions. It is just curious that even if there is no typhoon, and it is just raining or there is a monsoon rain, many flights have been diverted to Clark International Airport,” Ejercito revealed during the Senate Finance Committee hearing on the proposed budget of Department of Transportation and its attached agencies.

“I found out recently that the ILS of Runway 24 is broken and has not been in use for more than a year.

Another problem that aggravated this is a condominium situated at C-5 and is obstructing the flight path,” he added
The senator further explained that these combined problems forced pilots to adjust the Minimum Decision Altitude, an aviation term used when deciding when to push through or abort the plane’s landing.

Ejercito said that when ILS was operating before, the Minimum Decision Altitude was 300 meters but because the condominum was built there, the altitude was raised to 900 meters.

“There is no danger in this because 900 meters is the pilots’ safety adjustment for landing,” he said.

“But the repercussion is that we lose millions, if not billions, whenever our pilots have a hard time estimating their landing, resulting to flight diversions to Clark.

We are wasting fuel, time and other resources expended for the flight, plus the passengers’ inconvenience,” the senator added.

Ejercito said that all these could be avoided if the government would invest for an ILS for the country’s main airport.

He added that the CAAP would no longer permit the construction of high infrastructures, such as the condominium named as Cypress Towers, that would block the planned course of aircrafts.

“Bakit iyan nabigyan ng permit ng CAAP noon? Matagal na kasi itong condominium. Mukhang 5 years na ito. Pero siguro dati nung gumagana ang ILS, non-factor kasi kahit bad weather, guided ang eroplano by minimum of 300 meters. Naging factor talaga itong condominium,” Ejercito.

“I hope this serves as a lesson for all of us na huwag na magtayo ng matataas na building along the flight path,” the senator said, who also mentioned his Senate Resolution No. 63 which seeks to probe air traffic congestion at NAIA.