CAAP: Public may expect no more air traffic fiasco after maintenance activities

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 11 2023 04:43 PM

People enter the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) headquarters in Pasay City on January 5, 2023. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – The public may expect no more air traffic fiasco in the near future after the maintenance activities of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) air traffic management system, an official said on Thursday.

The CAAP on May 17 will replace the ATMS uninterruptible power supply (UPS), which faltered on New Year's Day. In relation to it, the Philippine airspace will be shut down for two hours on that day.

When asked whether the maintenance would prevent the possibilities of air traffic fiasco in the future, CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio answered in the affirmative. 

"So far, dito sa CNS/ATM, mataas ang porsyento na wala nang mangyayaring [aberya]. Unang-una, mayroon tayong reserve UPS. Besides, yung original maintenance provider, naibalik na natin. Alam na nila ang gagawin just in case magkaroon ng problema," Apolonio said in a televised briefing. 

That will be the last phase of their maintenance, the official said, which includes the upgrade of CAAP's ATMS. 

"Inaasahan natin na kapag may failure, mayroon tayong back-up system na kasama. Kaaya maliit na lang ang tsansa na magkaproblema," he said. 

Apolonio earlier said the planned shutdown of Philippine airspace will be from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. of May 17. 

The shutdown will affect flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Clark International Airport (CRK), and Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), and several flights at the other 42 CAAP commercially-operated airports, the Manila International Airport Authority said in an earlier statement.

Last Jan. 1, the air traffic management center, which controls inbound and outbound flights, "went down" due to a power outage, which resulted in the loss of communication, radio, radar and internet, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista had said. 

This forced hundreds of flights to be canceled, delayed or diverted, affecting over 65,000 passengers.

Video from PTV