Latest Stories

Damaged Manila airport equipment delays flights


MANILA, Philippines—Several domestic and international flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport have been delayed due to defective equipment used by air traffic controllers, according to an official of the Manila International Airport Authority.

According to the source, who asked not to be identified by name for lack of authority to speak on the matter, the airport’s terminal radar data display (TRDD) has been “unserviceable” since January 2.

He said the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has advised airline companies that it would take about until the end of the month to fix the equipment.

Because of the damaged equipment, air traffic controllers are forced to increase the time between plane landings as well as between takeoffs, a procedure that causes delays, especially during peak hours.

“Air traffic controllers are forced to space out the airplanes father apart, causing delays in both arrivals and departures,” the source told the Inquirer.

The TRDD is a piece of equipment used by air traffic controllers to identify aircraft within   60 miles of the NAIA.

It processes data from various radars scattered over the Philippines and presents an aircraft’s position, altitude, ground speed, among other information needed by the air traffic controllers to control either the arrival or departure of airplanes.

“The equipment is used by air traffic controllers to guide the pilots,” the source said.

But both the CAAP and the flag carrier Philippine Airlines agreed that the busted equipment is no big deal and does not pose a threat to safety of the passengers.

“That equipment is also called the secondary surveillance radar. It was just placed there for added convenience for air traffic controllers, but with or without it, the operation and the work of air traffic controllers in guiding the pilots could proceed as usual,” CAAP director general Ramon Gutierrez said.

“This should not be a cause for alarm,” he said, adding that they were trying to have the system repaired at the soonest possible time.

Gutierrez added that flight delays were also caused by the increased flights to and from Manila especially during the holiday season.

This was echoed by PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna, who said: “The flight delays were mainly due to air traffic congestion especially since it’s peak season in December and January. Our regular 140 flights a day increased to 165 to 170 flights a day during the holidays.”

“And besides, the busted radar was not the sole equipment that guides the air traffic controllers and pilots. There are other sources of information which the traffic controllers could use to guide the pilots,” Villaluna told the Inquirer.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Air Traffic Control , Airlines , Civil Aviation

  • patriotic_act

    well better late than unsafe..

    • Anonymous

      I agree.

  • Anonymous

    About time the DOTC secretary is fired. He does not know his job! He is bringing shame to our Boss and to the Filipino people. Pnoy, please, fire him.

  • Mamang Pulis

    kaya pala inabot ng kalahating oras sa taxiway ang plane pabalik ng zamboanga noong a-kwatro

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Bus kills pedestrian before falling into Olongapo City ravine – report
  • Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  • Group: Bataan cop killed to stop him from exposing colleagues linked to drug ring
  • Chemical Engineer licensure examination
  • Troubled history fuels Japan-China tension
  • Sports

  • NLEX fights off Derulo Accelero to remain unbeaten
  • Mayweather diehard Bieber eats pride, poses with Pacquiao for photo op
  • Power Pinays rip Singapore to enter quarters in Asian volley tilt
  • PBA D-League: Waves edge skidding Superchargers
  • Ilad’s last-second basket lifts Gems over Bakers
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Arrest warrants out vs. Deniece Cornejo, Cedric Lee, et al over serious illegal detention
  • Lindsay Lohan says she had a miscarriage
  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Business

  • Century Pacific Food sets IPO price at P13.75 per share
  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Balikatan could spoil peace talks, says militant group
  • DFA officers hold workshop on aiding human traffic victims
  • Canada in communication with PH on toxic wastes
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged not to panic amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Marketplace