The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said it is expecting minimal flight disruptions during a two-hour airspace shutdown on May 17.
“Despite the temporary airspace closure, the CAAP expects only a minimal number of affected flights in two international gateways and several CAAP-operated airports,” said CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio.
The CAAP will conduct the second part of what it called “corrective maintenance activity” at the country’s Air Traffic Management Center (ATMC) which houses the Communications, Navigations, Surveillance / Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) system which manages and supervises the air traffic activities within the Philippine Flight Information Region.
The aviation authority claimed it made and completed its initial maintenance work on May 3 without disruption.
CAAP assured no flights will be affected at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) while only two regional flights will be affected at Clark International Airport.
Air Asia Philippines earlier announced the cancellation of at least eight domestic flights in Manila airport on May 17 to give way for the maintenance of the Air Traffic Management System.
Canceled were flights to and from Cagayan, Davao, Cebu, and Bacolod.
Air Asia also decided to reschedule on May 16 the departure and the arrival of 12 domestic and international flights, including those going to and from Taipei, Incheon and Bangkok.
“The temporary airspace closure is due to the imperative corrective maintenance activity on the ATMC, necessary to replace the defective
Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), and reconfigure the Air Traffic Management System (ATMS) A/B power supply. This will ensure that the
CNS/ATM system will continue to provide safe and efficient air traffic control operations,” said CAAP Deputy Director General for Operations Capt. Edgardo Diaz in an interview with CNN Philippines.
Apolonio said CAAP is continuously coordinating with air carriers, airport operators and other stakeholders in advance regarding the
The agency also met with officials of Manila International Airport Authority, Luzon International Premiere Airport Development Corp., and GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation on the matter.
“In addition, corresponding Notices to Airmen were duly promulgated to inform all stakeholders,” said Apolonio.
The ATMC power supply upgrade will involve the installation of a bypass panel to provide seamless ATM operations and the reconfiguration of the existing power distribution panel to segregate ATM system A (Voice) and ATM system B (Data). This will result in the two UPS serving as each other’s independent backup in case one power supply encounters a problem.