Ground crew hurt after lightning strikes NAIA Terminal 1

Robie de Guzman   •   June 26, 2019   •   1198

Courtesy : Unsplash

MANILA, Philippines – A ground crew member at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) was reportedly injured after a lightning struck near the ladder where he was standing on at Terminal 1 on Tuesday night.

Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal identified the injured ground handler as Joel Arejola, 30, a worker of Macro Asia Company.

Monreal said that based on the incident report, Arejola was assisting an aircraft set to depart for Vancouver, Canada when the lightning struck around 7 p.m. that threw him off the ladder.

“While the ground staff/handling was removing the cable of the ground power unit… noong tinatanggal, nagkaroon ng insidente at tumilapon,” he said.

Arejola sustained abrasions on the leg.

He was quickly assisted by the MIAA medical team before he was brought to a hospital.

Monreal said the incident stresses the importance of suspending ramp operations at NAIA when a red lightning alert is issued.

“That is basically the reason why we are implementing this warning, the red lightning alert, to ensure that the passengers, the workers specifically, are safe because they are pre-warned or forewarned because of these incidents that are coming,” he said.

A red alert warning is issued by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) when lightning strikes are prevalent in the area and may endanger personnel, passenger and flight operations.

A prolonged lightning red alert may cause delays in flight operations, according to Esperanza Cayanan, chief of Pagasa Weather Division.

“Kung mayroong lightning within 9 kilometers doon sa aerodrome, nag-iissue tayo ng red alert para this will lead to suspension yung ground operation sa Airport,” she explained.

Based on NAIA’s security protocol, ramp movement in the airport are temporarily suspended when a red lightning alert is issued.

Airport personnel and passengers are also advised to leave the ramp for safety reasons.

The MIAA, meanwhile, assured that the NAIA is safe from lightning strikes as it is equipped with 20 lightning arresters to protect electrical and telecommunication facilities from the damaging effect of lightning.

A lightning arrester is a device that captures a lightning surge and diverts it into the ground, which absorbs it. (with details from Joan Nano)

MIAA warns public against taxi drivers with tampered meters

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 19, 2019

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) warns the public against abusive drivers who use tampered meters.

Authorities received a report from a passenger who rode a taxi from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to Alabang. His fare went up to P630 which should have cost around P350-P400 only.

Authorities immediately conducted an investigation and will file a case against the driver.

Proven violators will have their operator’s franchise and driver’s license revoked.

The MIAA reminded the public to immediately report these incidents to authorities through their Facebook account or hotline, (02) 8771111. They can also message NAIA at 0917-839-6242.—AAC

US Homeland Security lifts security notice on NAIA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 9, 2019

The United States Department of Homeland Security (US-DHS) has lifted the public notice on security conditions at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

On Thursday (Aug 8), the US-DHS has released a statement saying the Philippines has made significant improvements at the NAIA.

Based on the statement, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and various civil aviation security authorities have demonstrated their willingness to work towards sustaining the improvements.

United States Ambassador Sung Kim also congratulated Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur ahead of the official advisory.

Tugade is grateful for the efforts of MIAA, the Office for Transportation Security (OTS), as well as other civil aviation security groups in NAIA.

“While we are happy with this news, we must remember that the more important thing is that we sustain and consistently improve our efforts to ensure the safety and security of the passengers,” he said.

Last December 2018, the US-DHS has issued a public notice due to NAIA’s “failure to adequately implement and maintain international security standards”.—AAC

Solon briefly held at NAIA over ‘bomb’ joke may face ethics complaint

Robie de Guzman   •   July 26, 2019

APEC party-list Representative Sergio Dagooc

MANILA, Philippines — Another party-list congressman has been involved in a controversy, this time, for making a ‘bomb joke’ at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Thursday.

Local media reported earlier that Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC) party-list Representative Sergio Dagooc was briefly held by members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Aviation Security Group when he told airport inspectors his baggage contained a “bomb.”

Dagooc made the remark after Aviation police asked about the contents of his luggage, which exceeded the allowable 11 kilograms.

Based on the report of the PNP-Aviation Station 2, they immediately arrested Dagooc and prevented him from boarding the flight for violating the Presidential Decree 1727 or the anti-bomb joke law.

He was later released from custody and allowed to take the flight after his lawyer insisted that Dagooc can’t be arrested under Article 6 Section 11 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution which states that, “A Senator or member of the House of Representatives shall, be in all offenses punishable by not more than six years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while the Congress is in Session.”

A “bomb joke” is a crime which carries a penalty of five years of imprisonment and a fine of P40,000.

According to House Minority Leader Bienvenido “Benny” Abante, the incident should be investigated by the House Committee on Ethics since this is the second time that a party-list solon was embroiled in a controversy.

Earlier this month, Ang Probinsiyano party-list Representative Alfred delos Santos issued a public apology after punching a service crew in a restaurant in Albay.

“Sana wala tayong congressman that will down the house of congress into the level of gangsterism,” Abante said.

The House leadership has yet to determine who will head the Ethics committee.

The lawmaker said that congressmen who cannot conduct themselves with decorum should just step down from office.

“If you do not know how to conduct yourself with the decorum and proper its good for you to resign as a congressman,” he said.

Congressman Dagooc has yet to issue a statement on the matter. (with details from Grace Casin)

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