Senator Win Gatchalian called on airport authorities to ensure the safety and convenience of thousands of passengers stranded or affected by a technical navigation issue, including a power outage situation, that caused the cancellation and diversion of nearly three hundred incoming and outgoing flights on the first day of the year.
“Airport authorities must attend to the needs of stranded passengers at all affected airports and ensure their safety and convenience until normal airport operations are restored. The public, particularly affected passengers, should also be appraised of the latest situation and should be made aware of new flight schedules,” he emphasized.
Airport authorities should be made accountable for this incident,” he added, noting hordes of airport passengers were stranded not just at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) but also at various points of departure within and outside the country.
While the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has said that flight operations have already been partially restored as of 4 PM of January 1, the incident was likely to cause a domino effect and adversely affect flights scheduled in the next few hours, Gatchalian said.
“It is unfortunate to see a crisis-like situation such as this at NAIA at a time when demand for air travel in the country has just been restored to normal levels following the lifting of travel restrictions which were imposed at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Airport operations have an impact beyond managing incoming and outgoing flights. The government must do everything in its power to ensure that this doesn’t happen again given the impact it would have on affected passengers and the negative impression that it would have on our foreign visitors,” the senator stressed.
“Nakakalungkot ang pangyayaring ito sa unang araw ng taon para sa marami nating kababayan at mga bisita na naapektuhan ng insidente,” he ended.