Lawmakers begin probe into NAIA New Year air traffic fiasco

The Senate and the House of Representatives have begun their investigation into the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) mess where apparent power supply issues caused nearly 300 flights to be canceled and some 60,000 people stranded after the airport tower lost all forms of communication on New Year’s Day.

Both houses are conducting separate inquiries with officials of the Department of Transportation, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, and other concerned government agencies, who are expected to brief lawmakers on the events that led to the mess.

In a television interview on ANC’s Headstart, Sen. JV Ejercito said that “heads have to roll” for the aviation fiasco.

“I would want to find out first what really happened, if it’s command responsibility, if it’s CAAP (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines) or whatever agency is really remiss or found negligent then some heads really had to roll,” he said, adding that the air traffic management system has to be “working 100 percent all the time because it concerns air traffic safety and also national security.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Grace Poe, who chairs the public services committee, said that the possibility of the NAIA fiasco being an act of cyberattack or sabotage must not be ruled out yet as CAAP had to explain the power outage that affected the airport’s air traffic management system.

CAAP attributed the mess to “power supply issues” that cut out the airport’s control tower’s connection.