Transport ministry wants thorough study on LTSAS runway pothole

Liow-Tiong-LaiBENTONG: The transport ministry has ordered the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) to conduct a thorough study of the pothole on the runway of Sultan Azlan Shah Airport (LTSAS) in Ipoh, Perak.

Its minister, Liow Tiong Lai, said a thorough study should be carried out even though repair works have been done and the airport had resumed operations after being closed for about 24 hours.

“The issue involves the safety of passengers. Although the pothole has been repaired, it is a short-term solution. For the long term, we must carry out surveys to make sure the runway is completely safe.

“If there is a pothole, that means there is a hole in the ground and when it rains, the water flows under the ground and can cause serious erosion. This cannot be be taken lightly,” he told reporters after opening the Empower East Coast Economic Region Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Centre yesterday.

Liow also gave assurances that the inspection had found the runway was still safe as no instructions were issued to stop operations at the airport.

On Friday, MAHB in a statement informed the public of the temporary closure of LTSAS from 6.40pm on Thursday, after a routine inspection by the technical team found a pothole.

Perak Health, Public Transport, Non-Muslim Affairs and National Integration Committee chairman Mah Hang Soon said the inspection had found a pothole measuring 12cm by one metre on the runway.

In another development, Liow said the Air Accident Investigation Bureau had completed the report on the investigation into Malaysia Airlines flight MH2718, which skidded upon landing during heavy downpour at the Sibu airport on April 8.

The 61 passengers and six crew members were unhurt.

“I will brief the cabinet about the report and after that the report will be uploaded on the ministry’s website. This is the usual procedure,” he said.