Press Release
March 23, 2023

Poe: Senate to keep watch on air traffic system fixes

Sen. Grace Poe said the recommendations of the Senate public services committee on the airports' air traffic system should serve as impetus to accelerate improvement of equipment and systems in the country's gateways.

Senators approved on Wednesday the panel report on the New Year's Day airspace shutdown inquiry which Poe sponsored in the plenary.

"We trust our recommendations will not be swept under the rug. Transportation and airport officials should already be on top of the situation," Poe, chairperson of the committee, said.

"We stated that a sustained assessment must be conducted and we will ask them for development," she added.

The senator said the public hearings revealed the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines' (CAAP) lack of upkeep of communications, navigation, surveillance and air traffic management (CNS-ATM) system and other equipment.

She said there was no redundancy in the uninterrupted power supply that could function as backup in case of breakdowns.

The lack of personnel was also highlighted amid some employees' flight to higher-paying jobs.

"Pasilidad, personnel at proseso -- itong tatlong bagay na ito ang ating pagtutuunan," Poe said.

Poe said it was also time for CAAP to consider focusing on its regulatory functions, saying it was "already overburdened" wearing two hats.

She said a separate body should be in charge of the airports' daily operations.

"Our proposal is for CAAP just to be the regulator and then for a separate body to be in charge of operation. In that way, CAAP can call out the operator if it is not doing its job properly," Poe said.

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