Passengers in the dark: NAIA Terminal 3’s planned power interruption earns flak

December 12, 2023 - 5:13 PM
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NAIA Terminal 3
Passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 on Dec. 12, 2023 in this photo posted by ABS-CBN journalist Stanley Palisada (stanleypalisada/Twitter)

Some airline passengers had to deal with a dark airport as they embarked on early morning flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Tuesday.

Pictures of the incident were posted on the X (formerly Twitter) platform by ANC anchor Stanley Palisada at 2:32 a.m. on December 12.

“NAIA T3 running on low power with passengers milling around in the dark for the early morning flights,” he wrote, referring to NAIA Terminal 3.

“It’s beginning to not look like Christmas,” Palisada added.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) confirmed to ABS-CBN News that the particular area had a three-hour power interruption.

MIAA said that the outage was planned and was part of the maintenance activities it has been conducting since November 29.

Nevertheless, the power interruption earned flak from some Filipinos online, especially as the Holiday season approaches.

“Jusko, you pay 200/550 for terminal fee tapos may brownout hahaha. 3 [three] or 4x [four times] na ata ito this year?” a Pinoy commented.

“Not having [backup] power part of the plan?” another user asked.

“Ano ‘yun, walang back up. My God, ang poor. Buti pa ‘yung maliliit na convenient store, may back up power,” another Filipino commented.

“Akalain mo ‘yun, PLANADO [PERO] WALANG CONTIGENCY???? Domestic airport ata ito eh… Heheheheh…” a different user exclaimed.

“Only in the Philippines. International airport, may 3 [three] hours power interruption,” another Filipino wrote with a laughing avatar.

Last November, it was reported that the NAIA Terminal 3 was set to conduct electrical maintenance activities.

A three-hour power interruption will be implemented at Terminal 3, starting at 12:01 a.m. until 3:00 a.m, according to MIAA.

MIAA also said before that planned power-related maintenance works are scheduled until Dec. 13, 2023.

MIAA officer-in-charge Brian Co previously said they strategically scheduled the maintenance work outside peak operational hours, adding that the activity was crucial for enhancing the airport’s electrical system reliability.

Despite the maintenance, it was reported that NAIA Terminal 3 would remain operational, with critical systems such as check-in counters, immigration booths, security scanners and other essential areas fully operational.

MIAA’s generator sets would also be activated during the maintenance period to ensure continuous passenger processing and uninterrupted flight operations.

Last May, the same NAIA terminal had a power interruption on Labor Day which caused massive disruptions in airport operations, including cancelation of inbound and outbound flights.

RELATED: ‘Inaalam pa sa ngayon’: Meralco gives update on NAIA power outage

Filipinos also ushered in the year 2023 with a huge power disruption that jolted air traffic control and disrupted 300 flights.

ALSO READ: NAIA scrambles to restore normalcy after New Year’s Day power cutRundown: Local airport debacles that caused flight cancellations, inconveniences

The NAIA has been ranked among the world’s worst international gateways, with flight backlogs a regular occurrence and a history of upgrades being delayed or abandoned due to disputes between airport authorities and contractors.