NAIA Terminal 2 loses air-conditioning after power fluctuations

Lance Spencer Yu

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NAIA Terminal 2 loses air-conditioning after power fluctuations

NAIA. Pictured are the rattan counters in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2.

Screenshot from Christina Garcia Frasco's Facebook page

(1st UPDATE) Just a few days earlier, the Manila International Airport Authority said it was ready for the Holy Week rush and 'El Niño's impact and rising temperatures'

MANILA, Philippines – Power fluctuations temporarily knocked out the air-conditioning system at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2, just as rising temperatures hit and tens of thousands of passengers crowd the airport for the Holy Week break.

According to Chris Bendijo, spokesperson for the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), the high heat index of 43°C on Wednesday, March 27, caused the airport terminal’s circuit breaker to detect a high power load and trip.

After several power fluctuations, MIAA’s engineering team determined that there was a need to recalibrate the airport’s transformer so that even with the high heat index, the breaker would not trip.

“[The engineering team] gave us the assurance na after itong last recalibration, wala na pong mangyayaring power fluctuation (that after this last recalibration, there would be no more power fluctuation),” Bendijo said in an interview with DZBB Super Radyo.

Bendijo clarified that this was not a power supply issue. He said the engineering team had already included an allowance after recalibrating the transformer and circuit breaker in case the heat index continues to rise.

While the fluctuations were ongoing, NAIA Terminal 2 had to be powered by generator sets, which allowed basic services such as check-in, baggage handling, and boarding gates to continue operating. Air-conditioning, however, did not work.

Talaga po ang ating air-conditioning units ay hindi naman po masaklaw ng ating generator set, so talagang nagkaroon po ng inconvenience sa ating temperatura sa ating paliparan (Our air-conditioning units are really not included in the scope of our generator set, so it really caused an inconvenience in terms of temperature in our airport),” Bendijo said during the radio interview.

The limited power supply experienced at NAIA Terminal 2 lasted for 3 hours and 16 minutes. Power to the air-conditioning systems in the terminal’s departure area was restored as of 3:31 pm, MIAA confirmed to Rappler.

To alleviate the heat, industrial fans were brought in and bottled water was provided to passengers. There were no flight delays or cancellations as a result of the incident.

Just two days ago on Monday, March 25, MIAA General Manager Eric Ines conducted an inspection at NAIA. MIAA also earlier stated in a lengthy press release that it was ready for the Holy Week rush and “El Niño’s impact and rising temperatures.”

“We are prepared for this influx at our terminals, especially as Holy Week coincides with summer, historically a peak season for air travel,” Ines said in a press release last March 21.

The airport chief also ensured “adequate manpower, equipment, and optimal working conditions for amenities and key facilities, including critical airport utilities and backup systems.”

As of Tuesday, March 26, more than 60,000 passengers have been arriving at and departing from NAIA every day. –

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Lance Spencer Yu

Lance Spencer Yu is a multimedia reporter who covers the transportation, tourism, infrastructure, finance, agriculture, and corporate sectors, as well as macroeconomic issues.