T3 outage brings back 2016 anxiety

In the 2016 event, exhausted passengers sprawled on the floor as check-in counters and luggage carousels failed to work.

Courtesy of MIAA

September 18, 2022

A power outage that lasted eight hours hit Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, which again threw operations at the premiere airport in disarray making stakeholders apprehensive of the capability of the gateway amid the influx of visitors.

The airport blackout brought back memories of the 2016 incident that affected thousands of passengers.

The extended power failure at that time was caused by a generator that conked out. Yesterday, the facility again suffered a roughly eight-hour blackout from Friday midnight to Saturday morning.

Airport operator Manila International Airport Authority issued an apology to passengers and other airport stakeholders for the inconvenience they suffered.

In the 2016 event, exhausted passengers sprawled on the floor as check-in counters and luggage carousels failed to work. Long queues formed outside the terminal as entrances were closed until power was restored.

“The MIAA management together with Meralco conducted a joint probe to determine the cause of the problem which was traced to the Terminal 3 power substation. As of 6 a.m. yesterday, the power in all areas of the Terminal has been restored. 16 international and 15 domestic flights were affected by the incident,” the MIAA statement read.

Crisis hit after inspection

Department of Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista and MIAA general manager Cesar Chiong, who were in the Terminal early Saturday morning, assured the public that action is being undertaken to prevent the recurrence of the incident.

Also on Saturday, Office for Transportation Security administrator, Undersecretary Ma. O R. Aplasca conducted a surprise inspection of security screening checkpoints in the terminal.

The surprise inspection was conducted after OTS received complaints regarding the long queues at some security screening checkpoints caused by defective security equipment.

He ordered the supplier to make urgent repairs to minimize disturbance to travelers and maintain the smooth operation of security screening at the NAIA.

Aplasca added the OTS, in cooperation with the MIAA, is now studying the proposed removal of some initial security screening checkpoints in selected NAIA terminals to strengthen and reserve its manpower to the final security screening checkpoint.

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