Remnants of Korean Air plane that crashed at Cebu airport now moved to ‘safer location’

THE Korean Air plane that overshot the runway of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) on Oct. 23, 2022 has already been moved to a safer location less than a month after the incident.

This was what Julius Neri Jr., general manager of the Mactan- Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), said in a press conference Friday, Nov. 25.

Neri said international and domestic flights can now come in to the airport unhampered since they were able to move the disabled aircraft to a safer location on Nov. 17.

He said it took so long because of the weather considering that the aircraft was stuck in a muddy area and was not accessible by a road.

Neri said in order to remove the aircraft, they had to construct a road which took the longest time to complete since this would not only bear the load of the aircraft but also the equipment used to move it.

“So it took a lot of effort, time, and expense from everyone,” he said.

He, however, assured that the management of Korean Air shouldered the expense to remove the aircraft.

Neri said the investigation on the incident being handled by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) is still ongoing. He believes that the investigation on the incident could take at least six months to a year.

Neri said CAAP has already gotten hold of the disabled plane’s black box or flight recorder, which they will use to determine what happened before the incident.

But Neri said Korean Air has to acquire directly from suppliers and change the six rows of the runway’s approach lights, although only five rows were damaged by the incident.

He said this cannot be repaired immediately, adding that it will take a few months.

“We are just trying to use alternative means of guiding the aircraft down,” he said, as they use lights that will guide the pilot when they land while awaiting the return of operations of the approach lights.

He said Korean Air could spend over P100 million for all the damages but stressed that the biggest expense they will incur is restoring those approach lights amounting to around P70 million.

Apart from that, Neri said, Korean Air would also pay for the loss of revenues in terms of canceled flights to the MCIAA and GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), although all of these are still being quantified.

Neri said MCIAA and GMCAC would like the aircraft removed as soon as possible, which is why they are looking at repairing the service road in the area before they can take it apart.

The insurance company, however, would like the aircraft to remain intact to be used as evidence in case there are lawsuits against the airline, although no one was injured.