MANILA – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Friday apologized for the New Year’s Day air traffic management system glitch at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) that led to numerous flight cancellations affecting around 56,000 passengers.
“I’m sorry. Of course, we have to apologize to our kababayans (countrymen), especially those who came from abroad. Limitado ang kanilang bakasyon. Nawala iyong dalawa o tatlong araw eh (Their vacation was limited. They lost two or three days because of this),” said Marcos following an inspection at the NAIA Terminal 3.
“Kaya kami’y humihingi ng inyong paumanhin at gagawin namin ang lahat nang hindi na maulit ito (We are asking for your understanding and we will do everything so that this will not happen again),” he said.
Marcos conducted an ocular inspection at NAIA Terminal 3 and discussed with transport officials several measures to prevent a repeat of the air traffic system mess.
Among the measures, he said, is the emergency procurement of two uninterruptible power supply units.
He said the government also plans to install a backup system.
“Beyond that, is to have a proper backup system so that if the whole system fails, like it did on January 1, we have a complete system ready to go. ‘Yun lamang (However), that might take a little time, but that is something that we will try to fast-track as quickly as possible,” Marcos said.
The President noted that the government has extended assistance to affected passengers.
“Hindi naman sila basta pinabayaan na lang at (They were not just simply abandoned and) left them to their own devices. We tried to support them in every way,” he pointed out.
In a press conference on Sunday, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) cited technical glitches that affected nearly 300 flights.
The Department of Transportation, in a statement on Monday, said the “incident that resulted in the loss of power in the system was due to a problem in the system’s electrical network, with its uninterruptible power supply, which is to be used as backup power supply, also failing.” (PNA)