All flights suspended: Philippines to shut entire airspace for 6 hours on May 17

Forty-three airlines will be requested to identify how many flights will be affected and how recovery trips will pan out


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Reuters file photo
Reuters file photo

By Web Desk

Published: Wed 3 May 2023, 3:25 PM

Last updated: Wed 3 May 2023, 10:07 PM

Airport authorities in Manila have announced that the entire Philippine airspace will be shut down for a few hours on May 17 due to major maintenance activities.

The upgrade is expected to solve power outages — the latest of which happened on Labour Day holiday on Monday, affecting 9,000 passengers. On New Year's Day, an air traffic system glitch fiasco also grounded hundreds of flights and left thousands stranded at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).

Taking place from 12am until 6am on May 17, the airspace shutdown will allow the authorities to replace the 'uninterrupted power supply' (UPS) of the airport's air traffic management centre, according to local media reports quoting Bryan Co, senior assistant general manager at the Manila International Airport Authority.

This activity, Co added, is expected to be completed in less than six hours but some buffer periods have been added as part of the plan.

Manila's airport officials will be sitting down with all 43 airlines that are operating in Naia to discuss how many flights will be rescheduled and how 'recovery flights' will be carried out.

“These are all proactive efforts to make sure that the CNS/ATM (Communication, Navigation and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management) is reliable as an offshoot of what happened this year,” Co was quoted as saying in a media report.

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