NAIA flights back to normal after radar upgrade-A A +A
Thursday, October 24, 2013
THE Ninoy International Airport (NAIA) has resumed its normal operations on Thursday after a maintenance job on its radar facilities.
Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Deputy Director-General John Andrews said that the Notice-to-Airman (Notam) issued last Sunday regarding with the 30-hour maintenance of "Manila Radar" facility has already been lifted. The maintenance started 1 a.m. on Wednesday and ended at 6 a.m. Thursday.
Andrews said the scheduled preventive maintenance procedure was discussed with the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and all airlines companies operating at NAIA. He said the upgrade of the radar facility is necessary and this facility is crucial in ensuring the safe landing and takeoff of aircrafts.
Included in the restrictions cited in the Notam was that all landing and take-off procedures should be done through VHF Omnidirectional Range (VOR) navigation system or ILS (instrument landing system) approaches and Standard Instrument Departure (SID).
The air traffic controllers were also instructed to limit the number of aircraft under its control to 11 arrivals and 11 departures per hour, below the usual 40 flights per hour.
But even with the reduced flights, air traffic was terrible on Wednesday.
Flights were delayed for hours. PR 856 of Philippine Airlines was supposed to depart Cebu 1:55 p.m. on Wednesday, but it actually took off Mactan Cebu International Airport 9:15 p.m.
PR 862 was supposed to leave Mactan 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, but was only on the air at 10:12 p.m. It arrived in Manila 12:27 a.m. on Thursday. The regular one hour and 15 minutes to Manila lasted for more than two hours due to traffic congestion.
Andrews added that to allow for more air space within the NAIA aerodrome, the CAAP also ordered that the general aviation flights will not be allowed during the 30-hour procedure except for emergency requirements. (With MVG/Sunnex)