Manila airport back to normal after power outage scraps almost 300 flights

MANILA, 2 Jan 2023:

Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport resumed normal operations today, despite the cancellation of some 30 routes, after more than 280 flights were affected on New Year’s Day (yesterday) due to an air traffic control malfunction.

Transportation secretary Jaime Bautista said the main cause of the problem that affected the loss of electricity and communication was identified and that assistance is being provided to around 56,000 affected travellers.

“At around 9.49am local time (Sunday), the Air Traffic Management Center which serves as the facility for controlling and overseeing all inbound and outbound flights and overflights within the Philippine airspace, went down due to power outage, resulting to loss of communication, radio, radar, and internet.

“The primary cause identified was a problem with the power supply and the degraded uninterrupted power supply which had no link to the commercial power and had to be connected to the latter manually. The secondary problem was the power surge due to the power outage which affected the equipment,” Bautista said, according to a Department of Transport statement.

However, the department today announced the cancellation of 29 domestic and international routes – including flights to Dubai and from Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

The previous day, images on social media and on television showed the accesses to the airport clogged by traffic and crowds of passengers in the airport waiting areas, where airline employees offered them food and drinks.

The two main airlines in the country, Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific, issued separate statements informing passengers of the flights affected by the mishap.

Cebu Pacific also announced that it would offer the possibility of rescheduling or exchanging tickets for vouchers at no additional cost to the customer.