Poe asks CAAP chief to inhibit from probe of New Year’s Day air traffic mess
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe on Sunday asked Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General Manuel Antonio Tamayo to inhibit from the probe on the New Year’s Day air traffic mess that crippled the country’s airspace.
“CAAP cannot be investigating itself. I hope an independent body will be formed to look into the incident and definitely, Captain Tamayo cannot sit there and all those under him,” Poe said in a radio interview Sunday.
“Pinagkakatiwalaan ko si (Department of Transportation) Secretary Jaime Bautista, matagal na sya sa private sector, iginagalang. Siguro, pwedeng magtalaga ng pwedeng mag-imbestiga na walang kinikilingan,” she added.
(I trust DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista, he has been in the private sector for a long time and is respected. Maybe, someone can be appointed who can investigate without bias.)
According to Poe, former CAAP director general William Hotchkiss and a representative from the country’s association of civil aviation engineers could be included in the independent body that will look into the air traffic fiasco.
Meanwhile, when asked if the CAAP head should resign or go on leave, Poe said that the fate of Tamayo is up to the DOTr chief, but added that maybe someone else who is fitting for the job can take over CAAP while it is under investigation.
The Senate public services committee, which is chaired by Poe, already held an inquiry on the incident, but the senator said the panel could not yet make a conclusion. A proposal for a closed-door session is being considered when Senate resumes session on Jan. 23.
Meanwhile, while the investigation is ongoing, Poe said work should continue in the airport’s air traffic equipment to prevent a repeat of the fiasco and ensure the safety and convenience of passengers.
She also urged the government to consider raising the salaries of the country’s air traffic controllers, whom she thanked for initiating communication with other control towers to inform them of the development at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
On January 1, CAAP’s air traffic management system shut down following a power outage.
The technical failure left 600 flights either diverted, canceled, or delayed, affecting at least 65,000 passengers.
Several senators have already lodged separate resolutions seeking to investigate the incident
CAAP earlier accepted full responsibility for the New Year’s Day air traffic management disaster.
Poe believes CAAP ‘almost 100% responsible’ for air traffic fiasco
Top CAAP officials told to go on leave
CAAP admits air traffic equipment maintenance failures
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