THE Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) would be able to accommodate more flights by next year as regular runway closures will be reduced every week.
Airport Manager Jose Angel A. Honrado said runway closures currently take place two hours every day, from 1:30 to 3:30 a.m., to allow for the removal of rubber deposits left behind by aircraft tires on the runways. Thick rubber deposits posed dangers to landing aircraft if the friction levels, specified by the Federal Aviation Administration, are not maintained.
The Manila International Airport Authority incorporate rubber removal service into their maintenance schedule due to the high number of aircraft, estimated at around 700 to 800, landings and take-off daily.
The main runway 06-24 is closed from Saturday to Thursday while the secondary runway 13-31 is closed every Friday.
The airport’s board of directors approved last Monday a new setup to reduce the closure of the main runway from six times to three times per week.
It would be implemented to make way for new and additional scheduled flight operations which cannot be accommodated during peak hours of flights.
Honrado said the reduction of runway closures for maintenance will be carried out without compromising safety. Newer equipment purchased last year allowed for a faster and more efficient method of de-rubberization.
A three-day closure per week for runway maintenance was conducted from September to October last year, following certain Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines activities, which proved to be effective, Honrado adds. Management expects the new scheme to take effect early next year following a successful project bidding for the maintenance of the runways.