MANILA, Philippines - About a hundred flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport are cancelled today amid regular maintenance of the NAIA's radar system.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said maintenance work was scheduled as early as last month but airline companies had requested that it be delayed to give them enough time to review and adjust their flight schedules.
"Naka 4 na meeting na kami and finally sinabi namin mag-reduce kayo ng 40%, pro-rated ito para pantay-pantay. Pinag-usapan din namin na ang control lang namin sa domestic flights. Kasi ang international flights mahirap mag reschedule ng departure, arrival... Two days ago finally nag-agree na sila kung anong flights cancelled, dun lang na-inform mga pasahero," CAAP deputy director general Capt. John Andrews told dzMM.
He said the maintenance work, led by Japanese engineers, began at 1 a.m. It will take 30 hours and last until Thursday morning.
"Yung mga Japanese technicians ang unang hiningi sa amin ay 60 hours. Nakiusap kami masyadong matagal yun, nababa namin sa 30 hours pero magdadagdag kami ng malaking bayad, nag-dagdag ng P1.7 million additional. Ginawa rin namin kasi alam namin anong pinsala sa schedules," Andrews said.
Andrews assured that operations at NAIA will be back to normal by Thursday morning. "By 7 a.m. tomorrow morning back to normal na tayo," he said.
Andrews said a state-of-the-art radar system covering the entire country is expected to go into effect in 2015.
Meanwhile, ahead of the President's departure for Bohol this afternoon, the CAAP has requested that the 15-minute closure of the airport be waived so as not to cause further flight delays.
"Aalis ang presidente ngayong hapon. Nakiusap kami na puedeng i-waive yun quasi-emergency, hindi na po mag-dedeclare ng quasi emergency para hindi na ma-grabe ang ating sitwasyon," he said.
The Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific cancelled some of their flights today and tomorrow.
The list of cancelled flights can be found here: