Press Release
January 2, 2023

With glitch crippling international, domestic flights
...appeals to DBM to help source funds for CAAP equipment upgrades

Sen. Nancy Binay today expressed concern over the recent air traffic system glitch at NAIA terminals that crippled international and domestic flight operations on Sunday.

"Una sa lahat, buti na lamang at walang nangyaring anumang aksidente... but what happened last Sunday is scary and terrifying, and anyone who has plans of travelling to the Philippines this year may have second thoughts of visiting," noted Binay, who chairs the Senate Committee on Tourism.

The Philippines will be hosting several international events in 2023, including the much-awaited 2023 FIBA World Cup.

"As we open up our tourism, hindi na dapat maulit ang nangyari. Sadly, we just hogged the headlines in every news channel and newspaper abroad. How do we guarantee a unique high-value experience to our foreign guests if we don't address, find solutions and fix our broken public transport system? That's why I am appealing to the DBM to help in sourcing the needed funds for CAAP para maumpisahan na ang pag-upgrade at pag-augment ng mga system at equipment sa ating mga airport. Kung 'di natin mapopondohan, wala talagang mangyayari. The bigger picture is fixing our public transport problem for the benefit of all," Binay noted.

The senator added that the incident has left a big setback in the government's effort to promote the Philippines.

"Airport service quality and passenger satisfaction have a great impact on Philippine tourism. Yung nangyari sa NAIA makes it hard for us to promote travelling to the Philippines when a service attribute has failed. I hope we learn something from this experience and past experiences, and have well-trained airport and airline personnel ready to handle these kinds of extra-ordinary cases, and manage certain amount of chaos to temper an unpleasant situation," Binay said.

The senator added that it is about time to conduct a full audit of all navigational and communications equipment installed in all airports in the country.

According to Binay, the air navigation glitch that stranded thousands of holiday travelers is quite bothersome and concerning. The said technical glitch has result in the loss of power supply, critical navigational communications, radar, radio, and internet which has shut Philippine air space for hours.

"Imagine, several hours of inconvenience and unproductive waiting for passengers... inconvenience to PWDs and senior citizens, losses to tourism and business. This is not the first time that this occurred--there were similar incidents that happened in 2016 and 2018. Our airports, being critical facilities, should have a reliable backup system to handle these kinds of extra-ordinary and emergency situations. What happened on Sunday clearly demonstrates how vulnerable we are, and with either a hardware or software glitch, we can all be crippled," Binay pointed out.

She added that that the DOTR, OTS, CAAP, MIAA, MCIAA, LIPAD management likewise need to start identifying current and potential hazards related to airport operations.

"Sana matulungan ng DBM si DoTR Sec. Bautista na mahanapan ng pondo ang kailangang upgrade at equipment ng CAAP for this year. Kailangan na natin itong maumpisahan ngayong taon, kaya importante na makahanap ang Executive Department ng funding source para agad na nating mabigyan ng solusyon ito," Binay said.

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