After a New Year’s power outage shocked air traffic control in the Philippines, the country’s primary airport remained on curtailed operations on Monday, with authorities scrambling to restore full service after more than 300 flights were disrupted.
According to Cesar Chiong, the general manager of the Manila International Airport Authority, the aging Ninoy Aquino international airport handled a maximum of 15 arrivals per hour on Monday morning, compared to 20 during regular operations.
According to him, the outage was caused by the unusual breakdown of both the primary and secondary power sources.
On Sunday, 361 flights were either delayed, canceled, or diverted to other regional airports, affecting around 65,000 passengers. Additionally, other flights were forced to reroute to avoid Philippine airspace.
Philippine Airlines, the country’s flag airline, announced that it was arranging recovery flights out of the United States, Singapore, and Malaysia, as well as rerouting certain flights to domestic airports. On Monday, budget airline Cebu Pacific canceled 54 domestic flights.
In 2018, the airport installed its own power system, but both the primary and backup systems failed on Sunday.
When they connected directly to the standard commercial energy, they experienced overvoltage and a power surge, which caused equipment to malfunction, including radar, communications, radio, and the internet.
The Ninoy Aquino International Airport has historically been listed as one of the world’s worst international airports, with a history of enhancements being delayed or abandoned due to disagreements between the airport and its contractors.
The Philippines intends to alleviate strain by constructing multibillion-dollar airports in the provinces surrounding Manila, notably Cavite and Bulacan, which is scheduled to open in 2027.