CAAP: 'Minimal disruption' expected on May 17 airspace shutdown

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

May 10, 2023, 5:32 pm

<p><em>(PNA file photo by Cristina Arayata)</em></p>

(PNA file photo by Cristina Arayata)

MANILA – The two-hour airspace shutdown on May 17 to give way to the maintenance of radar systems will cause only "minimal flight disruptions", the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said Wednesday.

From 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. on that date, no flights will be affected at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport and only four regional flights will be affected at the Clark International Airport, CAAP said.

AirAsia Philippines also announced the retiming of 12 flights on May 16, two other flights on May 17, and the cancellation of six domestic flights on the same date.

CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio, however, confirmed to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that as of Wednesday afternoon, they do not have data from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and the Caticlan Airport -- two other airports operated by different management.

CAAP does not have information from other airline companies, he added.

He earlier confirmed that it would be up to the airline companies to decide whether to cancel or delay their scheduled flights.

Flights at the 42 CAAP-operated commercial airports will not be affected, Apolonio added. These airports include other international gateways such as those in Bohol, Davao, and Bicol.

Those airports are closed for operations during the corrective maintenance activity as they do the runway cleaning between 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., he clarified.

The corrective maintenance at the Philippine Air Traffic Management Center (ATMC) seeks to replace the uninterruptible power supply and upgrade the air traffic management system (ATMS).

"The ATMS power supply upgrade will involve the installation of a bypass panel to provide seamless ATMS operation and the reconfiguration of the existing distribution panel to segregate ATM system A (voice) and ATM system B (data), resulting with the UPS and AVR (automatic voltage regulator) serving as each other’s backup in case the other power supply encounters a problem," CAAP's earlier advisory read.

Located in Pasay City, the ATMC houses the Communications, Navigations, Surveillance /Air Traffic Management system which manages and supervises the air traffic activities within the Philippine Flight Information Region. (PNA)