THE runway of the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in Tacloban City was briefly closed after an Airbus A320 of AirAsia flight Z2-321 from Manila stalled as it landed, the aviation regulator said on Friday. Passengers and crew are safe.
Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said the incident occurred while the aircraft was about to turn toward the airport’s taxiway past 8 a.m.
The CAAP said the airport’s control tower received a call from the pilot saying that its plane nose wheel steering stopped working.
AirAsia management said that the airline ground crew rushed to the area and immediately transferred the 164 passengers and four crewmembers to safety.
According to CAAP spokesman Eric Apolonio, an arriving Cebu Pacific flight to Tacloban from Manila was unable to land on its scheduled flight while a departing flight of another Cebu Pacific plane had to wait until airport authorities cleared the disabled plane off the runway.
Airline officials claimed that the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport lacked equipment such as a tow truck and other equipment needed to salvage the damaged aircraft.
The airport, in 2013, was ranked as the eighth-busiest airport by passenger volume out of the 45 commercial airports in the Philippines.
As of 11 a.m., AirAsia management announced that the plane was eventually towed from the runway and the airport resumed normal operations. BENJIE VERGARA