Speed up upgrade of PH aviation safety system --- PBBM

Due to the massive airport incident on new year's day, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos has ordered to speed up the deal with maintenance provider Sumitomo-Thales to modernize the country's aviation safety system.

President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. inspects the Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport five days after the air traffic system outage that affected 64,000 passengers on Jan. 1, 2023. (Ali Vicoy)

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said Marcos made the directive during a meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 24, to provide updates on the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) systems glitch last Jan. 1.

He said his team made recommendations on "how we will move forward."

"The President is very much aware of what happened, and he supports our recommendation to implement future requirements necessary for the upgrade or improvement of the CNS/ATM (communications, navigation, and surveillance/air traffic management) system, which includes hardware and software maintenance, hardware replacement, ultimate fallback system for software redundancy and the need for an independent CNS/ATM in a separate location," Bautista explained in a Palace press briefing.

In an interview on Monday, Marcos revealed that during his trip to New York, the Philippine delegation met with the group that was running Gatwick Airport in the United Kingdom and asked if they could come to the Philippines to help with airport maintenance concerns.

"They were here last week to look at the operations of the airport, and especially since we had that problem on New Year's Day. At most, we will have a management contract," Marcos said.

The chief executive also clarified that there is no plan to privatize the airport and that the government is considering a management contract on airport operations.