January 25 ------ Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan John Uy said an "electromechanical malfunction" had triggered the air traffic system glitch that happened on New Year’s Day at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
At a Palace press briefing, Uy said the matter was discussed during a recent meeting with President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and the Department of Transportation. "We did discuss on the incident that happened last January 1, and so far from the cybersecurity aspect, there doesn't appear to be any cyber-related incident that triggered the incident," Uy said. "It was basically an electromechanical malfunction that triggered the whole incident," he added.
Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, for his part, said Marcos directed the agency to fast-track the arrangement for maintenance provider Sumitomo-Thales, which will modernize the country's aviation safety system. "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 said.
The Senate public services committee has already launched an investigation into the fiasco that happened in the country's main gateway on January 1. At least 282 flights were canceled, diverted, or delayed on New Year's Day as the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) recorded a technical issue at the Philippine Air Traffic Management Center (ATMC) at 9:50 a.m.
Some 56,000 passengers were affected at the NAIA.