By Jhon Aldrin Casinas
Operations at Clark International Airport in Pampanga were suspended due to damages in the terminal’s structure caused by a strong earthquake that shook Metro Manila and parts of Luzon late Monday afternoon, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said.
In a statement sent to reporters by DOTr spokesperson Goddes Libiran, Clark International Airport Corporation Pres. Jim Melo said that the airport will be closed for 24 hours due to the damage in the terminal.
The immediate damages that were seen were the broken glass panels in the control tower and the passenger terminal building.
“Operation is temporarily suspended, except for en route flights,” the statement added.
Jim Sydiongco, director general of Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, said that air traffic controllers at Clark have established a temporary control station on the ground near the runway to monitor the landing of incoming aircraft since the glass panels of its control tower broke during the quake.
“Accordingly, the tower is not being utilized at the moment while waiting for full damage assessment,” said in a statement posted by DOTr.
Meanwhile, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has said that it is “business as usual” at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City.
MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal informed airline passengers that it is “business at as usual” at NAIA “with its runways safe for landing and take-off,” following the 6.1 magnitude quake that struck Zambales at 5:11 p.m. Monday.
In a statement, the MIAA said that no damage was noted in the runways and taxiways of NAIA while “terminal facilities are functioning with no reports of downtime.”
It added that the inspection for possible effects of the earthquake on the structure of the airport is ongoing.