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CAAP says provincial airport operations back to normal

More than 20 provincial airports have resumed normal operations, two days after a power failure and a technical glitch wrought havoc at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said Tuesday.

These airports include Bicol International Airport, Tacloban Airport, Zamboanga Airport, Pagadian Airport, Dipolog Airport, Jolo Airport, Tawi-Tawi Airport, Laguindingan Airport, Camiguin Airport, Ozamiz Airport, Dumaguete Airport, Bohol-Panglao International Airport, Puerto Princesa International Airport, Tuguegarao Airport, Cauayan Airport, Basco Airport, Iloilo International Airport, Kalibo International Airport, Bacolod-Silay Airport, Roxas Airport, Antique Airport, Butuan Airport, Siargao Airport, Surigao Airport, San Jose Airport, Romblon Airport, General Santos Airport, Cotabato Airport, and Davao International Airport.

“Recovery flights from diverted and delayed flights in these airports have been successfully dispatched to their location and mounted by the airlines on a case-to-case basis,” said CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio in a statement.

Meanwhile, other passengers have been re-booked to other scheduled flights with the assistance of their airlines.

Apolonio said the agency has been working on resuming normal operations and providing assistance to passengers affected by delayed flights for the past two days.

The CAAP apologized for the inconvenience caused by the disruption of services and said it appreciated the patience and understanding of the affected passengers.

“CAAP is committed to ensuring the safety and efficiency of its operations and will continue to quickly work towards correcting and improving the air travel experience in the Philippines,” Apolonio said.

The CAAP said that while the country’s air traffic system was “not completely obsolete,” upgrades are necessary after a technical glitch forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights in and out of Manila.

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista earlier said the air traffic management center, which controls inbound and outbound flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), “went down” due to a power outage that resulted in the loss of communication, radio, radar and internet.

Some 56,000 passengers were stranded on Sunday due to the incident.

AirAsia Philippines said it had to cancel 90 fights affecting 8,000 passengers on New Year’s Day.

Operations may return to normal in three or four days, the company said.

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) said its regular published flight schedules would be restored by Wednesday, Jan. 4.

PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said there would be no more flight cancellations on Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, Kabayan Rep. Ron Salo called on the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) to take the necessary actions to protect the welfare and employment of Filipino overseas workers.

“I am urgently calling on the DMW to give our OFWs the necessary protection from termination or sanction, and reassure them that their jobs are safe and that they don’t need to worry. Our OFWs should not be the ones to suffer because of this disruption,” Salo, chairman of the House committee on overseas workers affairs said.

“Private recruitment agencies should immediately coordinate with their foreign counterparts or foreign employers to provide updates on the flight status of affected OFWs. Manning agencies should likewise undertake the same measure with their foreign principals concerning affected seafarers,” Salo added.

Salo also appealed to other agencies of the government to ensure that the needs of Filipino overseas workers and other passengers are necessarily provided for while they are stranded in our airports.”


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