Tagaytay radar shutdown to affect 700 flights


By Rudy Santos | The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - More than 700 flights to and from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) will be affected when the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) shuts down its Tagaytay surveillance radar next month.

The radar, which covers 200 nautical miles of airspace, directs incoming flights from all over the world toward the NAIA’s radar located near runway 06-24.

Capt. Jim Sydiongco, CAAP director general, said the radar’s shutdown would pave the way for the overhaul of its antenna and replacement of its drive motor and rotary joints.

It will be closed for 12 hours or from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., starting on March 6 to 11.

“The closure will also be in preparation for the integration of the Tagaytay radar with the CNS/ATM, which will be fully operational by December this year,” Sydiongco told journalists yesterday.

Although the maintenance and upgrade would affect operations at NAIA, Sydiongco said the airport would be aided by two en-route radars – one in Cebu and the other in Laoag.

Normally, the NAIA terminal radar accepts control of aircraft based on the feed provided by the Tagaytay radar, which is crucial for safe landings on runway 06-24.

“We have met with the airline companies to announce the repair and upgrade and they are readjusting their schedules or upgrading passengers from, for example, an A320 to A330,” Sydiongco said.

Surigao runway

Sydiongco said the CAAP is studying whether it could temporarily open the Surigao runway after a 6.7-magnitude earthquake hit the city last week.

The earthquake damaged about 700 feet of the 1,700-foot runway.

The CAAP is asking the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology to assess the damage to the runway.