ILOILO CITY — The Iloilo International Airport on Monday afternoon has returned to its normal operations after the stalled Cebu Pacific plane was extracted from its accident site, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).
CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio said Cebu Pacific Flight 5J 461 which veered to the side of runway after landing Friday night (October 13) had been extracted by the technical team from its muddy and grassy location.
The runway was cleared before 2 p.m.
Apolonio said the aircraft is now parked at Bay No. 7 of the airport.
“Aircraft investigators will extract the flight data recorder for analysis (to be sent) to Singapore,” he said.
Apolonio said the extraction took almost three days as the technical team had to analyze what equipment to use to lift the plane.
He added that the inclement weather also contributed to the delay of the plane’s removal.
“In fact, the nose gear of the aircraft sunk 20 inches into the ground because of the rain,” he said.
They also requested additional lifting equipment from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to remove the aircraft.
The airport was shut down before midnight of October 13 after the accident. All the 180 passengers and six crew members of the Cebu Pacific were safe.
Flights were suspended for the past three days after the facility was temporarily closed to enable the plane’s extraction.
The Iloilo International Airport has 42 inbound and outbound flights daily.
Stranded passengers were provided by their airlines with free transportation for the re-routing of their flights, either through Roxas City Airport in Capiz or Bacolod-Silay Airport in Negros Occidental.
As of posting time, Apolonio said they are still waiting for an incoming flight at the airport.
“Again, we thank the riding public and the affected passengers for their kind understanding,” Apolonio said. (PNA)