BAD weather twice prevented a Gulf Air A330 from Bahrain from landing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) on Tuesday.
The first attempt was made at 11:42 a.m., but the pilot aborted his landing while about 2 miles away from touchdown on runway 24. The control tower gave the pilot another clearance to go around the airport and land again on runway 24.
The airplane climbed to 1,500 feet, joining the traffic pattern, but on the second try, the runway remained unseen to the pilot, who decided to abort at 11:56 a.m.
Senior ramp controller Alger Ramo said the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has established a “decision height” on runway 24—meaning, the pilot would decide either to land or execute a mis-approach at 1,900 feet high and 2 miles distant from the end of the runway.
Runway 06 has a different decision height, Ramo added.
A the time Tuesday’s incident happened, there were dark rain clouds on the eastern side of the Naia, going all the way to Pasig and Antipolo, obscuring visibility on half of the 3-kilometer runway 24. However, the western side of the airport on the Parañaque side was clear, Ramo noted.
As the weather cleared on runway 06, the pilot was given instructions to land on runway 06. He made it successfully and touched down at 12:12 p.m.
Nothing untoward happened, and the passengers debarked after the pilot parked on Bay 3 of the Naia. The A300 can accommodate 335 passengers.
Ramo, who used to be a private pilot, said if GF154 had failed on its third attempt, the pilot would have had to proceed to his alternative, the Clark International Airport, to refuel and wait for the weather in Manila to clear before coming back to land at the Naia.