Davao LGU to file complaint vs airport officials, employees

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DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 3 June) – The city government here will file a complaint against officials and personnel of the Davao International Airport (DIA) following their alleged “poor” management when the Cebu Pacific aircraft veered off to the right of the airport’s runway Sunday night.

A Cebu Pacific employee talks to passengers of Flight 5J 971 that skidded off the runway of the Davao International Airport Sunday evening (3 June 2013). Reports say none of the 165 passengers were hurt. Photo taken by a passenger over an hour after the incident. MindaNews photo
A Cebu Pacific employee talks to passengers of Flight 5J 971 that skidded off the runway of the Davao International Airport Sunday evening (3 June 2013). Reports say none of the 165 passengers were hurt. Photo taken by a passenger over an hour after the incident. MindaNews photo

Mayor Sara Duterte said the Civil Aviation of the Philippines (CAAP) “should make heads roll” on the management and personnel of the airport. She said the emergency landing of the airbus was “poorly managed” by the airport personnel.

“We will submit a complaint to put on record their nonexistent emergency plan,” she said in a text message. The city government, she added, will formally submit its complaint to CAAP and schedule a dialogue with the airport officials.

The mayor ordered Emmanuel R. Jaldon, head of Davao Central 911 Communication and Emergency Response Center, to draft the complaint.

Based on the incident report made by Jaldon, the airport personnel and Cebu Pacific failed to cooperate with Central 911. He said they also refrained from giving information to Central 911 about the incident.

He said a CAAP personnel just told him that they “did not need help because everything was okay.”

“But we still dispatched our emergency medical service,” Jaldon said. Central 911 only knew the situation of the passengers when an employee of Cebu Pacific requested for an ambulance to aid some of the passengers, he pointed out.

He said they found out that Cebu Pacific only kept the Airbus passengers on a secluded area. Some 20 patients, he noted, were treated by the firm’s resident doctor for hypertension due to shock.

“The problem was that no one coordinated with 911. No one gave us information when we called them and when we arrived on the scene. It seems CAAP and [Cebu Pacific] do not follow basic protocols for emergencies involving aircraft,” he said.

The DIA, Jaldon stressed, also failed to have an emergency plan.

Duterte further observed that the airport lacked emergency lights and other needed infrastructure. She said the DIA officials should coordinate with the city government, especially on addressing the needs of the airport.

The airport, she said, also experienced brownout when the incident happened past 7 p.m.

But Frederick San Felix, airport manager of DIA, said during the press conference held at CAAP that there is a backup electricity in the runway and tower despite that brownout at the airport Sunday night.

The airport, he said, also has highly-trained personnel that could handle emergency situation.

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