CAAP conducts air traffic maintenance anew

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines on Sunday announced that it has conducted a maintenance activity at the Philippine Air Traffic Management Center 22 January to ensure that the recent airport debacle will not happen again.

CAAP disclosed that the maintenance activity involved the replacement of the blowing or cooling fan for the second uninterruptible power supply that is being used to power the Communications, Navigation, and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management System housed at ATMC.

There were nine affected flights held at NAIA’s taxiway Charlie for departure and 38 flights that waited for clearance delivery during the short outage that was necessary to complete the maintenance activity.

Last week, a newly-formed independent body — composed of different government agencies — launched an intensive investigation to uncover the details of the technical glitch that shut down the air management system of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on New Year’s Day.

Transportation Undersecretary for Aviation Roberto Lim said the representatives from the group visited the Communication, Navigation, and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management System site to gather testimonies from personnel on-ground.

He added that a vulnerability test is being conducted on both the CNS/ATM system and its equipment amid speculations that the airport fiasco might be triggered by cyber-attacks.

The investigating body is composed of representatives from the Department of Transportation, the Department of Information and Communications Technology, the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency.

The CNS/ATM Systems provide various computer-aided safety measures in Air Traffic Control or ATC. It enhances safety by reducing controller or pilot workloads and human errors.

The system is a P10.8-billion project financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and completed in October 2017.

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