MANILA (UPDATE) — The Philippine airspace will be “shut down” for a few hours on May 3 and 17 to give way to the replacement of an equipment that faltered and affected hundreds of flights on New Year's day, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said on Tuesday.
The operations of the Air Traffic Management Center (ATMC) will be suspended from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. on May 3, and from midnight to 6 a.m. on May 17.
This will allow authorities to replace the uninterruptible power supply (UPS), the MIAA said.
"It's the entire Philippine airspace that will be shut down because of the scheduled maintenance or replacement of the UPS of the CNS/ATM or 'yung air traffic management center natin," MIAA Senior Assistant General Manager Bryan Co said in a news conference.
The maintenance activity 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 MIAA said in a subsequent statement.
"However, if the activity is finished earlier, the issued Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) will be lifted, and operations at the ATMC will resume as normal," the group said.
Last January 1, the air traffic management center, which controls inbound and outbound flights, "went down" due to a power outage last January 1, which resulted in the loss of communication, radio, radar and internet, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista earlier said.
The outage hit as many people began returning to the capital for work and school after the Christmas and New Year break.
The New Year's day air traffic fiasco forced hundreds of flights to be canceled, delayed or diverted, affecting over 65,000 passengers.
A separate power outage at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 on Labor Day, Monday caused flights delays and cancellations.
More details to follow.
— With reports from Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News; Agence France-Presse