Manila International Airport Comes Back To Normalcy – Power Supply Restored


Image- FlightRadar24

NAIA Is Now Largely Functional

Ninoy Aquino International Airport is now largely functional with power supply working as intended. The power outage that played a spoilsport for travellers in the new year’s day has been rectified. According to the Flight Radar illustration, the Manila airspace that looked eerily empty one day before, is now teeming with aeroplanes.


Outdated Systems At Manila Airport Has Been an Issue


During the initial hours after the disruption of ATC services in Ninoy Aquino International Airport, news came out that comms equipment was not functioning. Later, it was revealed that the reason behind this was the power outage. The backup system in place was not powerful enough to sustain the entire airport’s power needs. As a result, the entire power system collapsed.


However, the news of the precarious infrastructure at Manila Airport is not something new. The government knows it, the travellers know it, the policy makers know it. Transportation secretary Jaime Bautista claimed that he had already raised the issue of the absence of a proper backup system during a cabinet meeting.


An Outdated CNS/ATM System


Back in 2018, the country got a “brand new” air traffic management system which turned out to be eight years old. The CNS/ATM system was bought in 2010. It took eight years for the authorities to install this system. By then, the equipment had already suffered the depreciation – both in terms of monetary value and quality.


Will This Incident Be Probed?


Senator Mary Grace Poe was among the first ones inside the political system to criticise the unfortunate power outage. She has vowed to launch an inquiry into the real reason behind the failure once the airport comes back to full normalcy. According to the statement provided by the Manila Electric Company, there was uninterrupted power supply from their end. This means that the blame now falls squarely on the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines. Poe sees this as a national security issue which should be addressed strictly.


Bautista Was Already Moving Forward With the Privatisation Plan For NAIA


Just four days before this outage, the transportation secretary, Jamie Bautista revealed that he had been working on the terms of reference for the privatisation of the Manila Airport. In fact, during the announcement, he specifically talked about the ageing infrastructure in the airport. This is not the first time that the authorities tried to privatise the airport, but there was scepticism among the potential investors about the financial viability of the airport. The only two private airports in the Philippines – Caticlan and Cebu – are perfect examples of how privately owned airports are better equipped to evolve themselves based on the changing demand and innovations.


Fake News Flowed In Along With The Outage


The power outage at NAIA triggered a deluge of fake news and conspiracy theory on Facebook and Reddit. Some called it a cyber attack, some said that this is a pre planned outage to quicken the pace of privatisation. Some even tried to give it a geopolitical colour. Thankfully, the infrastructure issue at the Manila Airport has been a talking point for quite some time now. People in the Philippines were actually expecting something like this to happen. This is why those conspiracy theories did not take a serious turn.

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