Press Release
January 12, 2023


During the hearing of the Senate Committee on Public Services on Thursday afternoon (January 12), Senator Ramon Bong Revilla, Jr. lamented the air traffic glitch that happened at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) during the first day of the year. The fiasco resulted in operational shutdown not only of NAIA, but all airports in the entire country, thereby causing massive inconvenience to many passengers as total cancellation of flights happened.

"Hindi ito ang hangad nating pambungad sa bagong taon at sa inaasahan nating pagpapalakas ng ating ekonomiya at turismo."

"It is unacceptable - especially because of the massive inconvenience it has caused the people. Dagdag na pasakit ang delays at cancellations ng mga flights - lalo na ang hirap at bigat sa bulsa ng rebooking.", the vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services strongly said.

Immediately after the New Year's Day incident, Revilla filed Senate Resolution No. 391 that sought the investigation of the Senate on the matter to further evaluate Philippine airport operations and management including its existing facilities and equipment.

As reported by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), the disruption happened when the uninterruptible power supply (UPS) de-energized the Communications, Navigation and Surveillance Systems for Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) equipment as the former detected a flaw in the system.

"We seek for the truth behind the recent system glitch. Nais ko malinawan sa mga nangyari dahil ang higit animnapung libong kababayan nating apektado ng insidente ay hindi biro.", the lawmaker further remarked.

Many affected travelers stormed social media to air their grievances. Some passengers already in-flight returning to the Philippines had to experience flight diversion due to the unavailability of the country's airports to accommodate landing. Many have also experienced waiting in NAIA for more than 8 hours after their flights were canceled, only to be told that they would not be able to fly within the day and in the coming days.

"Sa ganitong sitwasyon, yung pinaka-importante, paano ang mga pasahero? Have their needs been catered to when the incident occurred? And even more importantly, we have to determine what really happened? Was it a mere technical or equipment failure? Or was there negligence? Sino ba ang dapat managot? Meron ba ditong economic sabotage?", Revilla posed questions.

The solon further mentioned that he filed Senate Bill No. 1646 which seeks to provide development and modernization fund for CAAP to ensure upgrades to its standards, systems and procedures and Senate Bill No. 1654 which aims to strengthen the civil aviation agency by addressing the deficiencies in the management of that government instrumentality. Revilla said that both bills will allow the country's civil aviation to be at par with international standards.

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