Power back in NAIA Terminal 3 after 5-hour outage

Michael Bueza

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Power back in NAIA Terminal 3 after 5-hour outage
(UPDATED) Airport authorities, Meralco now investigating root of blackout, which has caused flight delays

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Electricity was fully restored at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 early Sunday morning, April 3, after over 5 hours.  

“The terminal started operating on full power as of 2:00 am, Sunday, following a technical glitch with the airport’s electric source,” said the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) in a statement posted on Facebook.

Authorities are currently investigating the incident, which caused numerous flight delays, and inconvenienced hundreds of travelers passing through the terminal.

In an interview on dzBB Sunday morning, Meralco said that based on their analysis, the problem seems to stem from the airport’s load side.

Jose Zaldarriaga, spokesman for Meralco, said that based on their troubleshooting process, the circuit in the area covering NAIA 3 is “okay,” and that the problem could be on the customer’s side.

Maayos ang daloy ng kuryente from the Meralco side,” he told dzBB. (Electricity flow from the Meralco side is okay.)

However, they are not discounting other possibilities for the cause of the blackout, and will continue investigating the issue.

Maintenance problems could be at fault, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said in an interview Sunday over radio dzBB.

He told dzBB that they are looking at both the NAIA side and the side of electricity provider Meralco, and that they will check maintenance operations of all other airports as well.

An earlier MIAA statement said a substation of Meralco at the airport “tripped”, causing the terminal to lose power at 8:45 pm on Saturday, April 2.

The substation was able to relay power to Terminal 3 starting 12:30 am, according to the same statement. An hour-and-a-half later, terminal facilities were fully operational, it added.

Full power has been restored to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3.The terminal started…

Posted by Ninoy Aquino International Airport MIAA on Saturday, April 2, 2016

At 3 am Sunday, lights were on but kept dim inside the terminal.

The MIAA apologized for the inconvenience, and said that measures are now being taken “to make sure that a power outage does not occur again in the future.”

The MIAA operates the 4 terminals located at NAIA.

Airlines’ actions

A total 78 one-way Cebu Pacific flights have been cancelled, according to a statement by the airline.

It added that passengers of the cancelled flights, and all other guests who were not able to take their flights from from April 2, 2016 (8:30PM) to April 3, 2016 (11:59PM) – approximately 13,950 people – were also provided the option to rebook, refund, or convert their flights into travel fund.

Philippine Airlines, meanwhile, is waiving rebooking fees for passengers affected by the power outage in NAIA.

The waiver, however, covers passengers who: 

  • Chose not to push through with  flights due to long line at the NAIA Terminal 3 counters
  • Decided not to go to NAIA T3 after learning flight delays due to power interruptions
  • Missed their connecting flights in NAIA Terminal 2 after their delayed flight arriaval in NAIA Terminal 3
  • Arrived at NAIA Terminals 1 and 2 but with delayed or cancelled connecting flights in Terminal 3.

Those who have the option to refund or rebook may do so within 30 days from their original scheduled flight.

Passengers who wish to avail this option are advised to present a valid identification card and a copy of their ticket or booking record locator. They may also call PAL Hotline 855 8888.

 – Rappler.com

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Michael Bueza

Michael is a data curator under Rappler's Tech Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.