Departures suspended at NAIA due to potential software issue


Departing flights from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) were suspended for a time on Monday afternoon, May 20, according to live flight tracking data from FlightRadar24.com.

Several flights that had already left the gates were forced to return to their gates over the past hour. Arriving flights were unaffected during this period.

As of 12:45 PM, Cebu Pacific flight 5J-621 to Bohol-Panglao was the first aircraft to depart NAIA since the suspension of departures. However, operations have now resumed on a more limited basis.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), which manages air traffic over the Philippines, released an advisory on May 20, 2024:

“During the regular monitoring today at the Air Traffic Management Center, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines identified a potential problem with the software of ATMC center.

To ensure safety of the flying public, CAAP decided to be conservative and control the operations by providing longer separation of departing flights.”

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines

Earlier, passengers at the terminals had cited ground staff mentioning a “radar problem” as the main cause of delays.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has affirmed that they are currently providing assistance to the passengers impacted on the ground.

“[The] MIAA [is] already assisting passengers who are affected. Malasakit kits ready,” said Conch Bungag, Public Affairs Department OIC at MIAA.

This is not the first time that CAAP’s Air Traffic Management Center (ATMC) has experienced an issue. On January 1, 2023, the ATMC faced a power outage that paralyzed the entire Philippine airspace for almost a day, stranding thousands of passengers in airports across the country.

Aviation Updates Philippines (AUP) is closely monitoring the situation and will provide further updates as they become available.

Dirk Andrei Salcedo Avatar

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