BACK TO NORMAL. Passengers check-in for their flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Tuesday (Jan. 3, 2023). The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said operations in all airports in the country are now back to normal following the system glitch last Sunday. (Photo courtesy of AirAsia Philippines)

MANILA – Following the technical issues in the air traffic management system of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) last Sunday, an official on Tuesday said operations in airports across the country are back to normal.

"Sa ngayon po, the operation in the whole country is already back to normal. Ibig pong sabihin niyan na gumagana na po ang lahat, at ang ating mga himpapawid ay nako-cover na ng ating radar at ng ating communication. (The operation in the whole country is now back to normal. This means everything is working, and the Philippine airspace is covered by the radar and communication)," CAAP Deputy Director General Edgardo Diaz said in a public briefing.

Hundreds of flights were canceled, diverted and delayed, and thousands of passengers got stranded last Sunday because of the system glitch that CAAP blamed on the power supply. Thousands of passengers continued to be affected on Monday as a consequence of the glitch.

Diaz said CAAP's Communications, Navigation, and Surveillance / Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) system is not completely obsolete but needs upgrading.

"Maganda pa po ang performance niyan. Ang nangyari lang po ay nawalan tayo ng power, kaya po bumagsak ang kaniyang operation. (The CNS/ATM system still works well. Operations went down due to power outage)," he said.

The official added that he thinks CAAP has a sufficient backup since there are two uninterruptible power supply or UPS. He also said that CAAP regularly checks the equipment.

CAAP is also coordinating with other departments of the government to assist them in preventing the incident from happening again, he said.

Diaz said CAAP is still assessing the system, and coordinating with engineers and technical people to find out what needs to be fixed.

"Wala pa po kaming full assessment ng kung ano po ang nangyari at nagkaroon po ng failure. Now, an investigation po at pag-aaral ay kasalukuyang ginagawa po ngayon (We don't have a full assessment of what has caused the system failure. We are currently investigating it)," Diaz said.

He also said that despite the incident, the safety of passengers and aircraft was not compromised.

Meanwhile, Diaz said CAAP has instructed the airport managers to assist the passengers and the airlines in recovery flight operations. Coordination with the airlines is also being done to ease the burden of passengers, he said. (PNA)