Numerous flights in Clark International Airport (CRK) were affected as airport officials were forced to suspend landing and take-off of aircraft in the absence of a Very High Frequency Omnidirectional Range (VOR) which was struck by a lightning during a thunder storm Monday night. As of Wednesday, technicians belonging to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) are still repairing the VOR, which is used by aircraft approaching and departing at night. VOR is a type of short-range radio navigational system for aircraft. It enables pilots to determine their position and stay on course by receiving radio signals transmitted by a network of fixed ground radio beacons.
Meanwhile, the Clark International Airport Corporation has issued an advisory Wednesday on the suspension of evening flights. “In accordance with the advisory issued by CAAP Notice to Airmen (Notam) dated 05 May 2015) effective 2:32 p.m. of 05 May 2015 up to 4:00 p.m. of 08 May 2015, arrival flights at Clark International Airport will be limited during daytime due to damaged navigational aids facilities caused by lightning. CIAC is seeking the public’s understanding for any flight delays, diversion or cancellations. It also advised passengers to directly contact their airlines for latest flight updates and travel arrangements.
Last Monday, airport authorities diverted at least eight aircraft to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Passengers of commercial carriers, including Asiana Airlines, were ferried by bus back to Clark after landing at NAIA, it was learned. Flight diverted to NAIA include Tiger Air Flight Number 2702 from Singapore, Atlas Air Cargo from Honolulu Hawaii, UPS Cargo Flight 137 from Taipei, FedEx Cargo from Taipei, Jin Air Flight LJ 023 from Incheon, Cebu Pacific Flight 5J 538 from Singapore, SeAir Flight RP C4 737 from Cebu, and Asiana Flight 32707 from Incheon.
At least six flights were also cancelled because of the ongoing repair of the navigational equipment. These include the flight of Tiger Airways to Singapore and Hong Kong, Cebu Pacific flight to Macau, Asiana flight to Korea, and Jin Air flight to Korea.
CIAC stated that it expects normal flight operations to resume after May 8 or at the end of period that CAAP issued.