Sunday October 28, 2012
Landing lights failure at KKIA is not acceptable, says DCM
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Yee Moh Chai wants heads to roll over the runway blackout incident at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) as flight operations returned to normal yesterday.
Yee wants action taken against those responsible for the two-day crisis that left thousands of passengers stranded at both Terminal 1 and the low cost terminal and affected the state's tourism industry.
“This is not acceptable,” he said of the failure of the landing lights at the extended runway especially when a similar incident had occurred previously but it was repaired immediately.
He said Malaysia Airports Berhad should haul up those responsible and replace them.
Flight operations at KKIA were halted on Thursday night after the runway lights blacked out and it was only after 10pm on Friday that the problem was rectified.
It is learnt that the KKIA runway extension project was riddled with delays and the contractor has failed to meet at least three deadlines set by the Transport Ministry to complete it.
A faulty transformer had apparently triggered the blackout of the runway lights.
The sub-contractor tasked to repair it had been on a go-slow action for some time over delays in payments from the main contractor, it is learnt.
Despite orders by the Department of Aviation to rectify the problems on the electrical circuit, no work was carried out by contractor or his sub-contractor, sources said.
A specialist team worked to rectify the electrical problem on Friday, the sources added.
They managed to restore the runway (edge and approach) lights at about the same time the RMAF arrived with the portable lights, said an official who declined to be named.
From late last night, 12 international and local flights were able to land, and most outbound flights, though delayed, also took off to their respective destinations.
Most of the stranded passengers whose flights were cancelled were also put on other flights, easing the situation at the airport's two terminals.
Kong: Runway blackout at KKIA will be investigated