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PH airspace to shut down on May 17

QUEZON CITY (PIA) – The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) releases a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) on the scheduled major maintenance activities of Philippine Air Traffic Management on May 17, 2023.

Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Cesar Chiong adds that the country’s airspace will have a six-hour shutdown during “lean hours” from 12 midnight until 6 a.m. on the announced date. Flights in the 42 airports across the country are expected to be affected by this maintenance activity.

The scheduled maintenance, according to MIAA Senior Assistant General Manager Bryan Co, will be the chance to repair the Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR), replace the Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), and upgrade the Air Traffic Management System (ATMS) A/B power supply of the CNS/ATM (Communications, Navigations, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management) or the Air Traffic Management Center.

CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio says that the shutdown was already announced in advance to provide operators and concerned stakeholders ample time to prepare and plan the rescheduling of flights to be affected.

As part of the scheduled interruption, MIAA management will meet with all of the 43 airlines operating at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to discuss the plans.

Aside from the upcoming shutdown, initial corrective maintenance was also implemented today, May 3 from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.

These scheduled shutdowns are a part of the continuous effort of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to improve the gateway to the Philippines. This is after the temporary shutdown of the Philippine airspace on New Year’s Day where over 50,000 passengers were stranded due to an unforeseen power outage due to equipment malfunction at the Philippine Air Traffic Management Center (ATMC).

For his part, DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista says that they will conduct a “full electrical audit” at the NAIA terminals to avoid future power interruptions and passenger inconvenience. He mentions that the last electrical audit was in 2017, however, the recommendations were not implemented. (MVVM, PIA-CPSD)

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