CAAP apologizes for latest system glitch; hopes issues fixed by Q3

MANILA: The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has apologized for another system glitch that affected over 9,200 passengers and delayed and consequently canceled a number of flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Monday.

“Muli kaming humihingi ng paumanhin, but ginagawa naman po ng CAAP ma-upgrade itong ating mga air traffic system (We apologize again. CAAP has been doing what it should to upgrade our air traffic system),” CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio said in a Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon televised briefing on Tuesday.

Apolonio said he is hopeful the upgrades would be finished by the third quarter and no more glitches would happen.

On New Year’s Day in 2023, hundreds of flights got canceled or delayed and thousands of passengers were affected when the Communications, Navigation and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) had a system glitch.

The CNS/ATM enables aircraft to transmit accurate locations for takeoffs, landings and air traffic control.

Apolonio said t
he communication aviation surveillance system had a problem in 2023, resulting in more flights being affected.

The latest problem, he said, was a software issue.

Apolonio admitted that the CNS/ATM needed upgrades and CAAP apparently was focused on system upgrades from 2010 to 2017.

He also clarified there was no hacking involved in the latest incident.

According to CAAP, the ATMS’ flight data processing system (FDPS) was unable to send data to the controller workstations, affecting the air traffic flow in and out of Manila. During that period, the CNS equipment remained functional.

However, the glitch prompted the Air Traffic Service to resort to manual data transmission using paper strips.

Meanwhile, Apolonio said the incident, which started 11:27 a.m. Monday, lasted for about two hours.

The Manila International Airport Authority opened the runways 24 hours for recovery operations.

Apolonio said the upgrade is gradual.

“Dahan-dahan iyong pag-update. May phase po iyan hindi puwedeng biglain kaya ini-
expect namin by third quarter of this year, medyo maisasaayos at palagay ko, wala nang mangyayaring ganito (There are phases in the upgrades and these are done slowly. We expect that this will be somehow fixed by the third quarter to prevent a repeat of the incident),” he said.

Source: Philippines News Agency