The government has decided to upgrade existing facilities and replace affected equipment as the “immediate course of action” after its Air Traffic Management (ATM) system broke down on New Year’s Day, affecting some 361 flights and stranding 65,000 passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminals.
After a top-level multi-agency meeting on Tuesday, January 3, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime J. Bautista announced that Secretary Ivan John Uy of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) offered to assist the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) in updating their equipment and expediting their acquisition.
“Putting up a new ATM will be one of our priorities for 2023,” Bautista confirmed in this morning’s (Wednesday, Jan. 4) DZRH interview.
However, this will take four to five years, he estimated.
“We will give our full support to DOTr and CAAP at resolving this issue,” Uy pledged during the top-level meeting.
National Security Adviser Prof. Clarita Carlos suggested declaring such communications and electrical equipment vital to national security to facilitate purchase and prevent a repeat of the incident.
CAAP informed Prof. Carlos and Department of National Defense officer-in-charge Undersecretary Jose Faustino Jr. no cybercrime occurred because the affected electrical equipment could not be manipulated from outside the CAAP compound.
Still, cyber-security experts are conducting a review.
Prof. Carlos noted that the breakdown of a vital infrastructure such the CNS system of CAAP constitutes a threat to national security so the need for immediate action.
After the top-level meeting, heads and representatives of DOTr, DICT, DnD, National Intelligence Coordination Agency (NICA) and Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces (ISAF) inspected the affected facilities/equipment inside CAAP.
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