REPORTS: Philippine senator calls for investigation into Manila airport meltdown

Manila airport meltdown
The Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. (PHOTO: Shutterstock)

CFMPhilippine Senator Grace Poe on Monday (2 January) announced that the country’s Senate would investigate the meltdown over New Year’s Day that delayed hundreds of domestic and international flights and stranded tens of thousands of passengers.

“Give them time to restore normal flight operations. After which, we will conduct an inquiry and direct them to submit a full report of what caused the supposed glitch and power outage,” Poe said in a statement carried in national newspapers.

On Sunday, hundreds of flights were delayed, canceled, or diverted to other airports, affecting over 56,000 passengers scheduled to arrive at or depart from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and other airports across the country.

According to Poe, power distributor Meralco said there was a steady power supply from their end. “The failure then points to CAAP and their navigation equipment,” she said.

Poe said there should be transparency and accountability from CAAP as thousands of people depend on their capability. “This is a national security concern. Thousands of lives depend on the efficiency and competence of CAAP. There needs to be transparency and accountability from CAAP, ” Poe added. “We will, therefore, conduct a hearing as part of the Senate’s oversight function to determine who is liable and what we need to do to avoid the malfunction from happening again.”

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General Capt. Manuel Tamayo said that it was the power supply of the Air Traffic Management Center Communications, Navigation and Surveillance Systems for Air Traffic Management that had failed and caused damage to key components.

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