Poe wants independent probe on Philippine airspace shutdown

Senator Grace Poe over the weekend called for an independent probe into the outage that caused the shutdown of Philippine airspace as the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) cannot be investigating itself.

Poe — who heads the Senate Public Services Committee — said the President or the current administration could designate an independent body to look into the incident that caused the cancelation, diversion, or delay of at least 282 flights on January 1.

“I hope an independent body will be formed to look into the incident, and definitely Captain (Director-General Manuel Antonio) Tamayo cannot sit there and all those under him,” she said in an interview on Super Radyo dzBB.

“Pinagkakatiwalaan ko si (Transportation) Secretary (Jaime) Bautista, matagal na ‘yan sa pribadong sektor, iginagalang ‘yan ng marami, siguro puwede siyang magtalaga ng mga puwedeng mag-imbestiga diyan na wala namang kinikilingan,” she added.

(I trust Secretary Bautista. He has been with the private sector for a long time and is respected. Maybe he can assign impartial investigators.)

GMA News Online reached out to the CAAP for comment, but a representative declined pointing to the congressional hearing scheduled later this week.

Tamayo earlier said one of the uninterruptible power supply (UPS) units failed at around 9:50 a.m. on January 1, and troubleshooting efforts were initiated. Backup systems were not immediately available.

Once the system was reconnected to the power supply, however, warnings were released at around lunchtime due to over-voltage as 380 volts were coming in instead of 220 volts.

This then affected the very small aperture terminal (VSAT) which also had to be addressed. The system was partially restored at 4 p.m. on Sunday, and operations resumed.

The day following the event, the CAAP said its Aerodrome and Air Navigation Safety Oversight Office (AANSOO) was tasked to investigate the incident.

The AANSOO is an existing office of the CAAP, made up of technical personnel from the CAAP itself, including aerodrome engineers, electrical and communication engineers, air traffic controllers, pilots, and a lawyer.

Tamayo has since said that the CAAP took full responsibility for the event, with Deputy Director General for Operations Edgardo Diaz saying the agency was willing to face external investigations.

For his part, Bautista last week said he would consider asking CAAP officials to take a leave of absence pending the results of the probe. — DVM, GMA Integrated News

Leave a Reply

Discover more from Planet Philippines UK

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading