PENANG: Loose pebbles on the runway brought air traffic to a standstill at the Penang International Airport in Bayan Lepas.
Several flights were cancelled and delayed yesterday as a result of repair work being carried out.
According to a press statement by Malaysia Airports Bhd (MAB), immediate repair work was carried out at 12.30pm on the runway when the loose pebbles were discovered.
“The runway had to be closed because of safety concerns. The runway was re-opened for operations at 3pm after the necessary repairs had been completed,” the statement said.
Nine flights were delayed while two were cancelled during the two-and-a-half-hour closure.
The delayed flights included those from Penang to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Medan and Taipei.
The flights cancelled were the Kuala Lumpur-Penang-Kuala Lumpur route.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said although the Government was sorry for the inconvenience caused to passengers on the 10 affected flights, it would not compromise on their safety.
“There were repairs carried out on the runway the night before – between 1am and 6am,” he said after meeting with representatives from the Association of Allied Advertisers at his office in Putrajaya.
“Today, the airport was operational in the morning but we still found that there problems in the runway even after the repairs.
“MAB found that the problem could pose a danger to aircraft, especially big airplanes, so they suggested the airport be closed for repairs and we agreed to it.”
Source : STAR
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