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Miriam: NAIA may regain ‘worst airport’ tag after 5-hr power outage

Airport authorities appear to be courting the "worst airport" tag anew, presidential candidate Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago said Monday after the five-hour power outage at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA-3) over the weekend.

Santiago urged the Aquino administration to immediately investigate the incident and remove from office those who are found responsible.

“The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) seems eager to regain the ‘world’s worst airport’ title which it lost only in 2015, not only for inconveniencing passengers, but for not working as it should,” Santiago said.

The NAIA was dubbed as the world’s worst airport from 2011 to 2013, and the fourth worst in 2014, according to online travel website Guide to Sleeping in Airports, which ranks airports based on comfort, convenience, cleanliness and customer service.

The power outage hit Terminal 3 late on Saturday and power was not restored until before dawn on Sunday, prompting the cancellation of flights and leaving passengers stranded at the airport.

The MIAA said the power outage at the NAIA-3 happened after a substation of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) tripped at around 8:45 p.m. Saturday.

Meralco, meanwhile, said that the glitch was restored in less than a minute. It said that the five-hour power outage could have been caused by "trouble on the customer's loadside."

Santiago said NAIA must have uninterrupted power supply.

“Assuming for the sake of argument that the Meralco line tripped, where were the generators? The explanation that they were not working is unacceptable,” she added.

Transportation and Communication Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya had admitted that one of the 10 generator sets at Terminal 3 did not kick-in after Meralco's substation tripped.

"Sabi niya may na-drain [na battery]. Hindi nagkick-in ang isang genset (generator set) natin. May drainage sa battery power... Hindi nag-transmit ng power sa building (NAIA-3) mismo," Abaya told radio dzBB on Sunday morning, referring to NAIA-3 manager Octavio Lina. —ALG, GMA News