100 flights canceled at NAIA Wednesday, Thursday for radar repair

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FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Around 100 international and domestic flights scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday have been canceled to give way to a scheduled 30-hour repair and upgrade of the radar system of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Several airlines such as the Philippine Airlines, PAL Express, Cebu Pacific and Zest Air canceled their flights citing the issued advisory of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) on the scheduled radar system upgrade at the NAIA, the airport’s media affairs office said.

PAL canceled its 16 round-trip flights from Manila to Davao and Cebu and back while PAL Express, sister airline company of PAL, grounded its 28 domestic round-trip flights to Caticlan Manila, Legazpi, Dumaguete, Cagayan, Zamboanga. Kalibo, Tacloban, Cotabato, Bacolod, Ozamiz, and Iloilo and back.

PAL Express also canceled its international flight to Singapore.

Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific canceled 40 flights to Cagayan de Oro, Cauayan, Caticlan, Cebu, Cotabato, Davao, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Legazpi, Naga, Tuguegarao.

In its statement, Cebu Pacific advised the passengers on the canceled flights that they have the option to rebook with no penalties within 30 days or get a full travel fund or full refund.

Twelve Zest Air flights to Iloilo, Kalibo, Tagbilaran, Puerto Princesa, Davao, Cebu were likewise cancelled.

In an emailed statement, CAAP’s deputy director general John C. Andrews said the maintenance procedure started on October 23 at 1 a.m. until the following day.

Andrews noted that the “scheduled preventive maintenance procedure” has been previously discussed with the officials of the Department of Transportation and Communications and all airlines operating at NAIA.

CAAP issued a Notice-to-Airman (Notam) on Sunday citing the restrictions in the landing and take-off procedures.

The air traffic controllers, thus, have limited the number of aircraft under its control to 11 arrivals and 11 departures per hour, Andrews explained.

The radar facility guides the air traffic, particularly the safe landing and takeoff of aircrafts at the NAIA.

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  • Adam_d_langgam

    it is funnier in the philippines

  • scorpion

    Why they didnt use airport in Pampanga for domestic flights as alternative? wala clang plan b , c , d . yes, i do believe that utak pulbura generals shouldnt be there. DOST must train high IQs scholars/ genius for these positions. kung kailangan paaralin sa ibang bansa pondohan nyo. Look at intelligent chineses who holds some of key gov. positions, they were sent to US for studies.

    • Guest

      There is lack of or failure to implement risk mitigation plan(s) both at the strategic and tactical levels of management in CAAP. I suggest FAA to examine this issue for possible category downgrade, again.

    • quphal

      basahin po ninyo, down po ang radar. meaning, kung wala pong radar cover sa naia, wala din pong radar cover ang clark.

      • Guest

        I believe they have more than one radar sensor. If there was only one radar and is down for whatever reason, it would result to a “ground stop” where no planes may land or take off from NAIA until it is fixed. The news story says air traffic operation is limited to 11 landings and 11 take-offs daily. Hence, there is still somewhat radar coverage (more than likely long range search radar) however limited both at NAIA and Clark. The most logical cause of limited air traffic operation capacity is the automation system responsible for computing & processing raw radar data inputs into human readable format for air traffic controllers. This I think the one scheduled for upgrade in conjunction with preventative maintenance. Of course, they wouldn’t explain this in detail to the media.

      • quphal

        ATCs can and should work with or without radar, they are trained for that. with radar service unavailable, they work on limited capacity, hence, the 11 departures and arrivals not counting the overflights (transiting).
        Its hard to explain these things to the general public but believe me, ATCs do not intend, in anyway, to create public outrage.

    • kangsongdaeguk

      Maybe it is not cost-effective on the part of airlines?

  • windstream

    CAAP has a policy problem here that need to be resolved…fast.
    The NOTAM was sent out too close to the maintenance start date–3 days window only. Any scheduled down time (1 second or more) that affects the national airspace system or NAS, NOTAMs shall be sent out many weeks ahead–not less than a week–so all concerned parties can plan ahead to mitigate risks.

    • Guest

      FAA is examining this issue…a possible category down grade. if ever.

  • Diepor

    Got to love NAIA. Do the repairs at night.

    • quphal

      sa gabi ginagawa yan kasi less ang air traffic sa gabi. ganyan din kadalasan ang ginagawa sa kahit saang parte ng mundo, do the repairs when there is less air traffic affected.

  • dorky boy

    kaka-upgrade lang natin sa “world’s lousiest airport” gumagawa na naman kayo ng hakbang para sa 4 year grandslam natin step 1 ba yan? go PH ipakita ninyo ang kabulukan natin….bigyan naman ninyo ng demoralizing support….bat kc wala man lang pang fail-safe na system dapat replicated parang SATA(mirroring) hehe kung up for maintenance yung isa yung isa naman di ba? pero bilib na ako talaga step 1 para sa upcoming 4 years na title “world’s lousiest airport”…… go PH!!…tinawag pang-international airport.. ganda ng pangalan …international airport….tapos daming rason keyso daw preventive maintenance dahil daw pagdi-ginawa eh masama…TAMA pero ngayon nyo lang na-forsee na may ganitong mangyayari?? dagdagan nyo pa ng isa dami ninyong sinisingil na taxes dyan kada may aalis tapos walang nagagawa dyan..sus rason!

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