Cause of plane skidding at Sibu Airport still being probed — Lee

KUCHING: The Department of Civil Aviation has not yet received the investigation reports from Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) on the cause of flight MH2718 skidding at Sibu Airport on Apr 8.

“The matter is still under investigation by the bureau,” Assistant Minsiter for Land and Air Transportation and Safety Datuk Lee Kim Shin told a press conference after having a meeting with officials from DCA Sarawak and Malaysia Airport Hodling Berhad MAHB) at his office here,” yesterday.

He said the investigation was being done under the directive of the Ministry of Transport.

Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur skidded upon landing at Sibu Airport at 10.17pm April 8 during a heavy downpour.

Lee said “the authority then closed the airport after the incident and at 3pm the next day a AAIB team from Ministry of Transport came to investigate and then removed the aircfraft after two hours of investigation.The airport was reopened on Apr 10 after repair was done on the air strip.”

Lee said said 48 flights were cancelled during the incident.

The Boeing 737-800 aircraft was carrying 61 passengers and six crew. No one was injured during the incident

Meanwhile, touching on the safety and security of airports in the state, Lee said all airports had complied with international civil aviation requirement – the international civil aviation organisation (ICAO) standards – to protect airports from any security threats.

“On health issue at airports, Lee said there were people-Emergency Response Team manning airports from communicable diseases. There are scanners installed to indentify any disease threat (infectious disease) especially those coming from abroad.Sarawak General Hospital is always on 24-hour standby to assist medical personnel manning the airport,” he added.

Lee said the government would continue to protect airports from all kind of threats through technologies and equipment.

“We take safety and secuirty measures in airports and on passengers very seriously,” he said.

Lee also revealed there were no pilferages at Kuching International Airport (KIA) since 2016.

On the number of passengers using major airports in Sarawak, he said that in 2016, a total of 4.89 million passengers used KIA, follwed by Miri Airport (2.2546 million passengers), Sibu Airport (1.47 million passengers), Bintulu Airport (810,000 passnegers), and Limbang Airport (65,000 passengers). The number of passengers using short -take-off-airports (STOAs) was 258,372.

The number of aircraft landing and taking off from KIA was 52,303, follwed by Miri Airport (43,961), Sibu Airport (19,512), Bintulu Airport (12,146) and Limbang Airport (3,078). The number at STOAs was 20,712.

Source: The Borneo Post

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