Abaya urged to improve Naia’s navigation systemBy Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines — House minority leader Danilo Suarez on Wednesday urged new Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya to look into the problems of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport regarding its defective navigation equipment.
In a media briefing, Suarez urged the Cavite lawmaker to consider having a backup for very high frequency omni-directional radio range (VOR) to avoid a repeat of Tuesday’s diversion of flights from Naia to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport due to a defective VOR.
“Can you imagine the tragedy if an accident happened? We’re calling the attention of Secretary Abaya – and this is a baptism of fire for him – this should not happen again,” Suarez said.
Zambales Representative Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay believes that the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) should be held responsible for the malfunction, pointing out that the VOR glitch could have stemmed from “trouble in CAAP’s leadership.” She urged Abaya to look into the issue with Caap as well as he is set to assume his new post after the P2.006 trillion national budget for 2013 is approved on third reading at the House of Representatives next week.
“We all know there’s a problem in the leadership in Caap when general manager Gutierrez resigned and was replaced by Hotchkiss,” she said, pointing out that at this time there seemed to be “nobody running at the helm” since Hotchkiss was new in the job.
Suarez said that such instances have no excuse since it happened at the Naia which is a widely used airport in the country. “I do not understand why we do not have a back-up system,” he insisted.
Magsaysay is hopeful that their observations will be considered by Abaya and the security of passengers at the NAIA is not put at risk due to the airport’s defective VOR.