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Harrowing experience at Manila’s premier airport

Power outage at NAIA terminal 3 ©
Power outage at NAIA terminal 3 ©

HUNDREDS of passengers flying in and out of the Philippines via the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 suffered a harrowing experience over the weekend after a “technical glitch” caused a 16 hour power outage that lasted until Sunday noon.

Manila International Airport Authorities said power went out on early Saturday evening after a substation of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) at the NAIA complex tripped causing the terminal to lose power. Aircraft operations at the said terminal’s departure area were immediately affected by the power blackout.

Hundreds of outbound passengers were delayed as no flights were allowed to fly out of the affected terminal while arriving passengers, who earlier have not been allowed to deplane in the terminal’s arrival gates, deplaned in other available terminals.

Some international airlines that were affected by the outage were Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, KLM, Emirates while local airlines like PAL Express and Cebu Pacific were forced to cancel their 24 domestic flights.

Airport authorities said full power has been fortunately restored at the NAIA Terminal 3 on Sunday at about 12:30 pm.

NAIA Terminal 3 manager Octavio Lina said despite the power outage the airport authorities were able to maintain the operation of the airport lights and air-conditioning system.

Lina, at the same time, thanked  “all airline personnel at the check-in counters, immigration, customs and members of the Office of Transport Security who stood behind us despite of darkness, they still there for us entertaining passengers while airport and aviation policemen are giving security to all passengers inside the terminal.”

The MIAA apologized for the inconvenience. The authorities also advised passengers with affected flights to get in touch with their airlines “while measures are now being worked out to make sure that a power outage does not occur again in the future.”

Benjie Vergara
A veteran reporter covering the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. He is currently writing for Manila Times, the Philippines' oldest newspaper.

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