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Ninoy Aquino International Airport's radar services restored

Aviation Updates Philippines - Radar services at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport were disrupted early this morning due to heavy rains and strong winds caused by Typhoon Mario in the Philippines. Due to the tropical storm, several flights were cancelled.

Manila Radar (PHOTO) Renz Bulseco - The Travelling Nomad

According to reports, the radar facility in Manila went off around 3:50am after heavy downpour was reported at the airport premises. Flights were also affected such as China Eastern arriving from Shanghai which was diverted to Cebu, and Jetstar Asia from Singapore which was diverted to Clark after reporting poor visibility of runway which also aggravated conditions at the airport.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) from 3:57 am to 12 noon on Friday, September 19, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport due to a radar malfunction that has caused "limited communication" between the NAIA tower and pilots. However, before the radar malfunctioned, Philippine Airlines flights from San Francisco and Los Angeles managed to land.

The radar services resumed at 11:23 am after the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines issued an advisory together with the Manila Radar Approach Service. Only RNAV capable aircraft such as the Airbus A319 and the Boeing 737 were the only aircraft allowed by CAAP to use NAIA approach until the radar malfunction was resolved.

According to the Philippine Airspace Blog, the Area Navigation (RNAV) operations requires greater flight separations between landing and departing aircraft, strict pilot awareness and maintenance of the procedure center-lines as airport controllers are blind as to the exact whereabouts of aircraft which cause limited communication between tower, approach, and the pilots.

Manila Airspace restrictions includes curtailment of aircraft movements in the air limiting number of aircraft movements under ATC control to 11 arrivals and 11 departures per hour from the usual 30 to 35 flights. General aviation (Gen-Av) flights are likewise suspended from using NAIA complex other than flight emergency.