Press Release
March 8, 2023

Poe panel urges upgrade of equipment, technical capacity at airports to avoid glitches

The Senate committee on public services headed by Senator Grace Poe raised the urgent need to improve the technical capacity of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and upgrade critical equipment to avert future glitches at the country's airports.

These should be complemented with the roll out of sufficient engineering guidelines and training of accredited engineers who will man the system, Poe said when she endorsed the Senate committee report on the New Year's Day air traffic shutdown.

"The January 1 'systems failure' was indeed a confluence of factors and errors. Experts likened it to the planets aligning albeit with an unfortunate consequence. Bihira pero alam nating posibleng mangyari ito, at patuloy na mangyayari kung wala tayong gagawin sa mga problema ng air traffic system sa bansa," Poe said.

"There is much work needed for a better system. It is my earnest hope that through our investigative work, Congress will be able to assist CAAP in providing a system where travel in our airspace is no longer shut down by causes which could have been avoided," she added.

Poe reiterated the panel will not adopt a punitive direction on its findings, stressing public safety as its primary goal.

"Accountability will follow after we've laid down safety measures for our air passengers," she said.

Among the committee's other recommendations are:

-Setting up of another Communications, Navigation, and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) in an independent location

-Fast-tracking of feasibility studies on the proposed Ninoy Aquino International Airport privatization

-Immediate compliance by CAAP to the recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organization

-Amendment of CAAP charter to improve efficiency and transparency

-Passage of relevant bills such as Philippine Transportation Safety Board, Philippine Airports Authority Act and Air Passengers Bill of Rights

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