Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Friday, January 13 said the air traffic system glitch that hit the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) should serve as a reminder to authorities to invest in state-of-the-art equipment for the country’s airports.
Estrada made the pitch a day after the Senate Committee on Public Services conducted a hearing to investigate the cause of the incident on Thursday, January 12.
The senator pointed out the lack of close-circuit television (CCTV) cameras especially within the most sensitive and vital facilities housing the airport’s navigation and surveillance activities is indeed a national security concern.
“The lack of CCTV in one of the most crucial locations in the airport facility that has the vital equipment of the communication, navigation, surveillance/ air traffic management system and the possibility of a cyberattack behind the technical glitch in the NAIA last January 1 magnifies the logistical woes of our country’s main gateway,” Estrada said.
The lawmaker pointed out it is disturbing to think that if NAIA has such concerns that are fully-addressed, other international airports within the country should also have been facing similar problems.
“This incident is an eye-opener on the need to have state-of-the-art equipment or at the very least, the need to immediately have modern techniques and technology that could help address the growing demand of air travelers and aircraft,” he said.
Estrada also backed further investigation to find out whether the incident was triggered by a cyberattack.
“While we, lawmakers, try to come up with urgent remedial legislation, I would defer to the experts on the matter of whether or not it was a case of a cyberattack,” he said.
“If so, Congress and the Executive should seriously consider the appropriation of funds for the much-needed upgrade,” added the lawmaker.