EDITORIAL — Another black eye

The Freeman
EDITORIAL � Another black eye

In another black eye to the reputation of the country’s main gateway, three flights were canceled while 38 domestic and 21 international flights were delayed after the Ninoy Aquino International Airport traffic management system bogged down yesterday.

The trouble with the traffic management system happened just from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. but was already enough to disrupt the schedules of 9,000 passengers.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) was quick to dismiss rumors that it was the result of a hacker attack.

“This time po yung ganitong computer glitch, gumagana po yung CNS-ATM natin (Communication, Navigation and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management), kaya lang po itong software issue talaga kailangan natin i-upgrade... ‘Yung software lang ang naging issue,” CAAP spokesman Eric Apolonio told state television PTV.

While we can heave a sigh of relief at this considering how many offices have become fair game for hackers recently this really doesn’t make the situation more forgivable.

This is just another smear in the already-poor reputation of the airport. Remember that just two months ago the airport, already known for being rated as one of the worst airports in the world, was in the news again after some passengers complained of being bitten by bedbugs in the lounge chairs.

Do we even have to mention that episode with the rat nonchalantly moving about a light fixture?

This is not to mention the scandals caused by NAIA personnel themselves; those who were accused of stealing money from passengers, letting questionable people in and out of the country for money, and letting some security personnel frisk some foreign celebrities so they could get it on video.

So this time --aside from those times someone needed to get rid of pests, make sure the backup power generator didn’t stop working, make sure the air-conditioners didn’t fail, and make sure the CNS-ATM didn’t bog down-- someone just didn’t bother to upgrade whatever software system needed to be upgraded?

Don’t they have someone making sure everything stays up to date, or to make sure a backup system is in place?

We can’t wait until the NAIA is privatized. There seems to be no signs of improvement in the hands of the government.

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