MANILA — (UPDATED) Some flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) were affected Sunday morning as the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) carried out the maintenance of one of its power equipment, which has been pointed as a factor in the New Year’s Day crisis that paralyzed the country’s air traffic.
The CAAP said its engineering team and maintenance provider replaced the cooling fan of its second UPS or uninterruptible power supply, affecting NAIA flights scheduled from 4:20 a.m. to 5:23 a.m. on January 22.
Twenty-eight departing flights and one arriving from Jakarta, or some 3,500 passengers, were affected by the maintenance activity, according to CAAP.
“No congestion was reported at the four NAIA terminals,” the group said.
The UPS failure on January 1, 2023 led to the outage of the entire Communications, Navigation, and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM), according to initial investigation.
Prior to the maintenance work on Sunday, CAAP said it issued an advisory to affected airlines, or Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), at 8:53 p.m. Saturday about the scheduled replacement of the UPS cooling fan.
Normal flight operations resumed at 6:09 a.m. Sunday, said CAAP, which also issued an apology to passengers whose flights were affected.
“The CAAP is grateful to the affected passengers for their patience,” the agency said.
CAAP had said that the nearly 10-hour shutdown of Philippine airspace on New Year’s Day was due to a problem in the CNS/ATM system’s electrical network with its UPS.
The system, according to Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, was already in its “mid-life” and has been in need of upgrades. The Department of Transportation, he said, allocated over P120 million for the upgrades required. — with a report from Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News