NAIA Radar – updated
The “huge international embarrassment” that was Sunday’s radar malfunction at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has once again exposed the dismal state of affairs at the country’s supposed premier gateway.
Read also our news from Monday, September 14, 2009. “Manila NAIA: Radar down”
The faulty radar, which delayed at least 4,000 passengers, should have been replaced four years ago, a senior aviation official said on Monday.
The radar, commissioned in 1996, was meant to have a life span of just 10 years, but its replacement had been snagged by bureaucratic setbacks, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) spokesperson Eduardo Batac told Agence France Presse.
“Our system should have been replaced in 2005, but because of the processes that we had to go through, it is only now that we are starting to put in place the new systems,” Batac said.
Malacañang and the House of Representatives ordered an inquiry into the two-hour breakdown that as of early morning Monday had affected around 80 international and domestic flights, the worst technical glitch to hit NAIA in recent memory.
According to Batac, the incident happened at a time when the CAAP and its mother agency, the Department of Transportation and Communications, are in the process of replacing NAIA’s radar and power infrastructure, which included pieces of hardware as old as 13 years.
On April 13 this year, NAIA suffered a 14-hour interruption when electronic equipment at the check-in counters, boarding gates and transfer desks bogged down.