Philippine airspace shutdown on May 17 shortened to 2 hours


Posted at May 05 2023 10:49 AM | Updated as of May 05 2023 05:51 PM

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A planned six-hour shutdown of Philippine airspace on May 17 to replace the uninterruptible power supply (UPS) unit of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines' air traffic management system has been shortened to 2 hours.

CAAP spokesman Eric Apolonio said the planned shutdown of Philippine airspace will now last from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. on May 17. 
"Tuloy po ito pero may maganda kaming balita kasi shutdown time umikli po ng 2-4 na lang," he said in a TeleRadyo interview, adding a new notice to air missions (NOTAM) will be issued. 

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.

Apolonio said CAAP has finished the first phase of repairs to its troubled air traffic management system and secured one uninterruptible power supply (UPS) unit. 

CAAP has also secured the services of French firm Thales Group to serve as a third-party maintenance provider.

AirAsia spokesperson Steve Dailisan, meanwhile, welcomed CAAP's announcement, saying several flights were supposed to be rescheduled due to the six-hour shutdown.

He said the shorter shutdown time would mean fewer passengers would be affected. 

Last January 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 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.