Probe body to report findings on air traffic system breakdown to Senate

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 6) — The inter-agency investigation team looking into the air traffic management system failure that crippled Philippine airports on New Year's Day will submit its findings to the Senate on Feb. 15, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said Monday.

"We have organized an investigating team. We have given ourselves a deadline of Feb. 15 to come up with the final findings. So, let's wait for Feb. 15," Bautista said.

The investigating body includes representatives from the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA).

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) is inhibited from participating in the investigation. 

Bautista's announcement came after senators and other government officials inspected CAAP's Air Traffic Management Center in Pasay City.

Senate Committee on Public Services chairperson Grace Poe concluded that the automatic voltage regulator (AVR), which manages the power coming into the air traffic system, has not been replaced since 2020.

"Based on our visit today, we were able to realize that it's really the AVR that hasn't been replaced since August 2020," said Poe, who was accompanied by Senate President Miguel Zubiri, Senators JV Ejercito, Joel Villanueva, and Raffy Tulfo during the visit.

The technical glitch at the country's main air hub Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Jan. 1 delayed hundreds of domestic and international flights, affecting over 65,000 passengers.