Clark International Airport closure extended

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Damage caused by the earthquake at CIA


The government has decided to extend the closure of Clark International Airport (CIA) due to the damage caused by the magnitude 6.1 earthquake that struck in Zambales late Monday afternoon.

Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade said this morning that the airport could be opened either tomorrow (April 24) or on Thursday.

“Based on the analysis and evaluation of our technical people, at the earliest we will operate tomorrow. At the latest, we will operate on Thursday,” Tugade told reporters during an interview.

Because of this, Cebu Pacific has cancelled four more flights between Clark and Hong Kong today and tomorrow.

In a statement released this lunchtime, Cebu Pacific said the following flights scheduled for today were cancelled:

  • 5J 120 Clark-Hong Kong
  • 5J 121 Hong Kong-Clark
  • 5J 609 Clark-Cebu
  • 5J 608 Cebu-Clark
  • 5J 370 Clark-Macau

For tomorrow, the following flights were also cancelled:

  • 5J 371 Macau-Clark
  • 5J 607 Clark-Cebu
  • 5J 606 Cebu-Clark
  • 5J 150 Clark-Hong Kong
  • 5J 149 Hong Kong-Clark
  • 5J 613 Clark-Bohol (Tagbilaran)
  • 5J 614 Bohol (Tagbilaran)-Clark
  • 5J 913 Clark-Caticlan (Boracay)
  • 5J 914 Caticlan (Boracay)-Clark
  • 5J 537 Clark-Singapore
  • 5J 538 Singapore-Clark
  • 5J 985 Clark-Davao
  • 5J 986 Davao-Clark

The government yesterday announced that CIA would be closed for 24 hours after the magnitude 6.1 earthquake that struck in Zambales late yesterday afternoon.

This morning, the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) said it was eyeing the resumption of partial airport operations tomorrow (April 24) after an assessment showed that the tower, apron, runways and taxiways are structurally sound.

“The good news is that the tower can be operated, there was no substantial damage. Wala ring problema sa road surface ng airports,” CIAC President Jaime Melo said in a press briefing.

Melo said passengers who were stranded because of strong quake will be prioritized once the partial operations resume.

CIAC will be giving another update later today. The clearing operations and repairs inside the departure area and terminal building are already ongoing.

Power has also been fully restored in Clark as of 10:30 p.m. Monday. All roads and bridges have also been assessed and cleared.

The Clark Development Corporation (CDC) has designated temporary shelters for travelers and tourists who were affected by the temporary closure of the Clark International Airport.

These include the Training Center at HSD, the pavilion at Bicentennial Park, the Philippine Air Force Gym, and the Clark Parade Grounds. Provisions of water and food are also being provided in these shelters.

Passengers on the cancelled Cebu pacific flights may rebook their flights for travel within 30 days from original departure date, free of charge; get a full refund; place the full cost of the ticket in a Travel Fund; re-route to or from Manila for travel within 30 days, subject to availability of seats.

Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal warned airline companies not to take advantage of yesterday’s earthquake to arbitrarily delay or cancel flights.

This warning came after reports of a domestic carrier cancelling outbound and inbound Manila flights.

MIAA yesterday issued a press statement stating no damage to NAIA runway and taxiway facilities as well as no reported concerns on its terminal buildings after immediate inspections conducted by various MIAA teams.

Monreal reminded airlines not to burden passengers with the inconvenience that may result to disruption of passengers’ travel plans.

Monreal directed his operations team to admit flights that cannot be accommodated in Clark. He urged airlines to ensure availability of shuttle buses to ferry passengers from Manila to Clark.

Monreal assured passengers using the Ninoy Aquino International Airport that it was business as usual and that there should be no cause for alarm.