Bataan solon urges Miaa: Reconsider May 17 closure of PH airspace
MANILA, Philippines — The Manila International Airport Authority (Miaa) has been asked to rethink the planned six-hour closure of the country’s airspace on May 17, as a lawmaker expressed concerns about the interruption’s possible domino effect.
In a statement on Thursday, Bataan 1st District Rep. Geraldine Roman said that the closure of the Philippine airspace from 12 mn to 6 a.m. of May 17, would be detrimental for travelers looking to travel cheaper by booking midnight or early morning flights.
Roman said this after Miaa Senior Assistant General Manager Bryan Co confirmed on Tuesday that the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines’ (Caap) air traffic system would be closed for maintenance during the said hours.
“I’m sure marami tayong eksperto kaya puwedeng magawan ng paraan na hindi na maaapektuhan ang mga pasahero at airline companies sa pagkabit ng mga pasilidad na ‘yan,” she said.
(I’m sure we have many experts who can find a way to do the maintenance and install facilities without affecting passengers and airline companies.)
“Pinakamura ang tiket sa hatinggabi o madaling araw kaya ‘yan ang kinukuha kadalasan ng mga gustong mamasyal. Isipin natin kung ano ang domino effect ng closure na ‘yan sa mga susunod na flights o kaparehong flights sa susunod na araw. Panahon ng turismo ang summer, sana maisip nila,” she added.
(Tickets for flights during the midnight or early morning are cheaper; that’s why travelers usually avail of these promos. Let us also consider the domino effect of this closure on the next flights after that day. Summer is the peak of tourism. I hope they think about that.)
The scheduled maintenance comes as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport suffered another fiasco that grounded flights after Terminal 3’s operations was affected for eight hours due to a power outage.
At least 9,391 passengers were affected due to the outage that lasted from 1:05 a.m. to 8:46 a.m. — said to be caused by a fault current.
Roman, author of House Bill No. 5534 or a proposal to create a Magna Carta for Public Transport Workers, said she supports calls for a congressional investigation on the latest Naia issue.
“Iparamdam natin sa kanila na kailangan nilang magtrabaho nang pulido (We will make them feel that they should work properly),” she stressed.
The stalled operations last May 1, was not the first incident that affected Naia in 2023. Last January 1, New Year’s Day, all Naia Terminals were forced to stop sending out and receiving flights after its Communications, Navigation, and Surveillance Systems for Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) failed to function.
This was after a cooling blower of its main uninterruptible power supply (UPS) conked out, forcing the airport to rely on backup power. However, the backup UPS also did not function.
Technicians tried routing power directly, but they noticed an overvoltage, which eventually fried several key satellite components. The issues left over 60,000 passengers stranded, as Naia could not receive flights or allow planes to leave. With reports from Maria Liezl Projella, INQUIRER.net trainee