The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) inaugurated on Tuesday a newly-acquired P160-million upgraded Eurocat air traffic management system, which will serve as a back-up to the old equipment being used by the country’s aviation regulator. CAAP Director General William Hotchkiss III said the new system will finally put the country at par with the rest of the world. The new system works by having aircraft transponders receive satellite signals and using transponder transmissions to determine the precise locations of aircraft in the sky. The system, Hotchkiss said, is a computerized air traffic control and management solution that controls enroute, over flights, arriving, and departing air traffic from as far as 250 nautical miles. Before the upgrade, flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), especially during rainy season, are usually disrupted, leading to a cancellation, rerouting or diversion. The absence of a ready substitute system has previously been a headache for CAAP. Hotchkiss said the system is essential to CAAP because the P13-billion next-generation satellite-based Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) project, approved by Arroyo administration, was delayed and will not be in place until the end of 2016. The CNS/ATM technology includes a computer-based flight data processing system that will enable aircraft operators to meet their planned times of departure and arrival and adhere to their preferred flight profiles with minimum constraints and without compromising agreed levels of safety, Hotchkiss added.