Panel to report on air traffic system crash on Feb. 15– DOTr chief

The DOTr chief says they will come up with the official finding on CAAP's air traffic control system flop on February 15

FILE PHOTO: Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista inspects Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s equipment on January 1, 2023, following the air traffic control system breakdown that led to the disruption of flights on New Year’s Day. Photo from the Facebook page of DOTr

MANILA, Philippines — An inter-agency team investigating the breakdown of the air traffic management system of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) is planning to come up with its finding on February 15.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista announced the release date after senators and other government officials inspected the Air Traffic Management Center of CAAP in Pasay City on Monday.

READ: Senators inspect CAAP’s air traffic management center

The government investigating team includes officials of DOTr, the Department of Information and Communications Technology, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency.

“We have given ourselves a deadline of February 15 to come up with the official finding,” Bautista said in a press briefing.

Senator Grace Poe, meanwhile, noted after the inspection the lack of proper maintenance and non-replacement of the automatic voltage regulator (AVR), which supplies power to CAAP’s air traffic control system. She said the AVR has not been replaced since August 2020.

“What did we realize? It’s been more than two years since there was a proper maintenance that was done. It’s been more than a few months since the AVR conk out and there was no replacement,” said Poe, chairperson of the Senate public services committee, which is currently probing the airport mess.

READ: Senate starts probe into New Year’s Day air traffic control system collapse

She said that after the inter-agency team submits its report to her committee on February 15, she will assess if another round of hearing on the issue would be needed or if a panel report could already be prepared.

On New Year’s Day, CAAP’s air traffic control system failed, leading to the cancellation, diversion, or postponement of hundreds of flights that affected at least 65,000 passengers.


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