Mines Bureau assesses possible hazard on plane landing in Batanes province


The technical team of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. II led by its Regional Director, Engr. Mario A. Ancheta conducted assessment of elevated areas which are hazard to plane landing in Basco Airport in the municipality of Basco, Batanes province.

The elevated areas are located in Sitio Coral and Sitio Disung both in barangay Kaychanarian, Basco, Batanes.

During the field assessment, observations were conducted in the elevated areas and the actual airport runway. Engr. Geoffrey V. Prado, Supervising Senior Research Specialist and Czarina Reola, MGB embedded contractual geologist in Batanes used a hand held GPS to acquire actual elevation and computed the elevation difference between elevated areas and the airport runway. 

Sitio Coral can be accessed through a way at the side of DA-BES in brgy. Kaychanarian, Basco. The area is mainly used as a communal pastureland and agricultural land. Its peak has an approximately 75 meters’ elevation above sea level. While the second site is located at Sitio Disung, Brgy. Kaychanarian, Basco and it is nearer to the airport runway with 60 meters above sea level with one of its plateau-side to be 46 meters above sea level. The site is primarily used as agricultural land by the locals.

On the other hand, the approaching end of the airport runway is measured to have an elevation of 42 meters above sea level in contrast to the 75 and 60 meters’ elevation of the two sites, respectively. The technical team recommended for a cut-off in elevated areas to avoid sudden landing of planes once they passed the elevated areas adjacent to the airport runway.

RD Ancheta said that more or less 20-meter elevation reduction is needed for the areas. Based on the field analysis, Sitio Coral needs a 33 meters cutoff while Sitio Disung only needed a leveling of the site to the elevation of its plateau-like sides.

“The province can use the cut-off sides for their backfill materials to address the needs of the infrastructure projects in Batanes,” RD Ancheta said during the meeting with Batanes Governor Marilou Cayco.

“The cut-off of elevated areas will prevent the sudden landing of aircrafts in the airport runway. This also means for a safer aircraft landing,” he added.