By Ma. Cristina Arayata

NAIA Terminal 3 (File photo)

MANILA – A number of flights departing and arriving at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Monday were delayed due to a technical issue with the navigational air traffic management system.

In an advisory sent at 1:05 p.m., the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said it “identified a potential problem with the software of ATMC (Air Traffic Management Center)” and decided to provide “longer separation of departing flights” to ensure safety and management operations.

CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio and the CAAP’s Public Information team have yet to answer questions to explain the issue.

Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) Acting General Manager Eric Ines said technical issue started at 11:27 a.m.

At 2:02 p.m., CAAP issued another advisory, saying the “identified problem in the ATMC is now resolved, and regular flight operations are being restored.”

Initial data from MIAA showed there were 38 affected flights due to the technical issue.

Meanwhile, local airlines have issued advisories seeking the public’s understanding for the flight delays.

AirAsia Philippines’ aircrafts departing from Manila, including four domestic and one international flights, were put on hold while authorities were addressing the problem.

Cebu Pacific said its flights may experience delays, but vowed to provide updates.

Philippine Airlines, on the other hand, said flights will need to be delayed or canceled.

Hundreds of flights got canceled or delayed, affecting thousands of passengers when the Communications, Navigation and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) had a system glitch on Jan. 1 last year.

The CNS/ATM enables aircraft to transmit accurate locations for takeoffs, landings and air traffic control. (PNA)