Joint congressional probe on NAIA power outage pushed

Joint congressional probe on NAIA power outage pushed

Jan 4, 2023, 8:21 AM
Dhana Garcia

Dhana Garcia


Rep. Bernadette Herrera asserted that an incident as massive as the service outage at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport air traffic control warrants a joint Senate-House investigation as this could affect the economy of the country.

Rep Bernadette Herrera called for a joint probe by Congress-- both House and Senate-- on the power outage at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last January 1 that caused the stranding of thousands of travelers for the New Year revelry that led to flight cancelations and diversions.

An airport operator said that a total of 282 flights were either delayed, canceled, or diverted to other regional airports which caused the inconvenience of at least 56,000 passengers at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Social media posts showed long lines at the airport and airline personnel distributing food and drinks to stranded passengers, Reuter reported.

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista apologized for this incident as he blamed the power outage to the failure of the country's central air traffic control system, which also impacted operations at other airports.

The massive service outage affected not just passengers, but also tons of cargo, from both incoming and outgoing flights, which would have lingering effects on businesses and the country’s economy.

Herrera asserted that such incidents should be investigated by the Senate and House.

“We need to see the authenticated copies of all maintenance logs, personnel logs, and CCTV logs of all the outage-affected equipment.” Herrera said.

There are also possibilities that the lightning storms for the past months affected any of the facilities and equipment involved in the service outage. Improved physical security measures at critical NAIA facilities may also be required.

Bautista also added that the outdated existing facility should be upgraded immediately and that a backup system is needed.

House Bill 1012

Herrera introduced House Bill (HB) 1012 which is an act providing for a bill of rights for air passengers and carrier obligations or also known as the Air Passenger Bill of Rights.

This bill reassures air passengers of safe and considerate options for air flights while also giving regulatory measures to ensure clear and distinct processes.

A sample issue would be passengers purchasing tickets using technology. Some passengers are unintentionally charged additional fees due to being late-boomer or not knowing much about technology. Most airlines do not offer refunds, which is why Herrera has introduced this HB.

A problem in air transportation at the start of the year, potentially affects the Philippines' reputation and tourism economy. This should be addressed immediately by relevant agencies and the government to address the issue and alleviate the inconvenience caused to the passengers.

Tags: #NAIA, #Outage, #Economy, #Investigate

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