Ground crew hurt after lightning strikes NAIA Terminal 1

Robie de Guzman   •   June 26, 2019   •   1505

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)

Undeclared watches, commercial goods worth P1.1-M seized at NAIA – BOC

Robie de Guzman   •   July 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Various branded watches and other commercial goods estimated to worth P1.1 million were seized at the port of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said Thursday.

In a statement, the BOC said the undeclared items were confiscated on June 29. These were part of a consolidated shipment from the United States of America labeled as “personal effects.”

The seized goods include branded watches such as Michael Kors, Fossils, Anne Klein, Charriol, Invicta, Kate Spade, Diesel and Tommy, as well as bags, wallets, shoes — all in commercial quantity, the bureau said.

The items were intercepted after the shipment underwent X-Ray inspection.

The BOC-NAIA said it has issued a Warrant of Seizure and Detention against the confiscated goods for violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

The bureau added the case records shall also be referred to the Bureau’s Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS) for a possible criminal complaint against the personalities behind the foiled smuggling attempt.

Lawmakers push to rename NAIA to ‘Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas’

Marje Pelayo   •   June 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is considered as the country’s main gateway, the center of all international and local flights and the largest airport in the Philippines.

For this reason, several lawmakers want to rename it using the Filipino language that will reflect Filipino patriotism.

Representatives Paolo Duterte, Lord Allan Velasco and Eric Go Yap file on Thursday (June 25) House Bill No. 7031 which seeks to rename NAIA to ‘Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas.’

“We want it to reflect the legacy of the Filipino people, our everyday heroes. The name bears no color, no political agenda. It only signifies our warmth as Filipinos in welcoming our own kababayans and foreign visitors,” said House Deputy Speaker and presidential son Rep. Paolo Duterte.

ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Eric Yap, meanwhile, said changing the name will add a ‘homey’ feel not only for returning Filipinos but also for foreign tourists.

“Gusto natin na paglapag pa lang ng eroplano dito, pangalan na agad ng bansa natin ang bubungad sa ating mga balik-bayan pati sa mga turista mula sa ibang bansa (We want the name of our country to welcome our arriving compatriots and foreign guests),” he said.

“Ating iparamdam sa kanila na sila ay nakauwi na sa kanilang tahanan, (Make them feel that they are finally home),” he added.

Marinduque District Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, for his part, said renaming the airport will further strengthen its identity as the country’s premier gateway to the world.

“Renaming it to Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas will not only benefit and bolster our brand as a destination hub, but will also strengthen the country’s identity,” Velasco said.

Prior to its current name, NAIA was formerly known as Manila International Airport (MIA) but was renamed in 1987 under Republic Act 6639. MNP (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

Mga stranded na pasahero sa NAIA, inilipat sa isang temporary shelter sa Pasay – DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   June 12, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Sa isang paaralan sa Pasay City pansamantalang mananatili ang mahigit sa 300 stranded na pasahero habang naghihintay ng masasakyan pauwi sa kani-kanilang probinsya.

Ayon sa Department of Transportation (DOTr), dinala muna sa Villamor Air Base Elementary School ang mga stranded na pasahero matapos ang ilang araw na pananatili sa ilalim ng isnag elevated expressway malapit sa Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Karamihan umano sa mga ito ay naipit sa Metro Manila matapos abutan ng community quarantine habang nag-aasikaso ng mga papeles para sa aplikasyon sa trabaho sa ibayong dagat.

At dahil naantala na ang pag-proseso ng kanilang mga dokumento, pinapauwi na umano muna sila ng manning agency at tatawagan na lang kapag maayos na ang sitwasyon.

Nang payagan ng pamahalaan ang muling pagbubukas ng domestic flights para sa locally-stranded individuals, nagpuntahan ang mga ito sa NAIA bitbit ang kanilang mga ticket.

Ngunit pagdating sa paliparan, saka lang nila nalaman na kanselado pala o kaya ay nalipat ang schedule ng kanilang biyahe.

Bunsod nito, napilitan ang ilan sa kanila na maghintay na lamang malapit sa NAIA dahil wala naman anilang inilaang accommodation ang kanilang agency habang stranded sila sa Metro Manila.

Hindi rin sila pinapayagang makapasok sa airport terminals kung hindi pa nila schedule na umalis.

“Kami po y’ong nag-apply na mag-abroad tapos hindi po natuloy kaya na-cancel po kaya wala na po kaming matirhan. Exactly po talaga flight namin June 9 tapos nag-extend kasi po eh. Tapos wala na kaming mapuntahan kaya dito na lang po kami pumunta,” ang kwento ni Romarie Viola, isa sa mga locally-stranded individuals.

Bilang tugon sa sitwasyon, nagpadala ng mga tauhan ang Philippine Coast Guard at Pasay City Police noong Huwebes ng gabi para ilipat ang mga stranded nating kababayan sa isang paaralan sa Pasay na magsisilbi nilang temporary shelter.

Dito, makakakain sila at makakapag-pahinga ng maayos habang nakikipag-ugnayan sila sa airline companies at kaukulang local government units para sa kanila pag-uwi.

Samantala, nagbabala naman ang DOTr sa manning agencies na magpapabaya sa kanilang mga aplikante at tauhan.

Ayon kay DOTr Assistant Secretary Eymard Eje, maaaring maharap sa kaso ang manning agencies kapag napatunayang tinatakasan nito ang kanilang obligasyon.

“Nakatanggap kami ng mga report na ito, dinadala dito ng mga manning agency nila para tumakas sa kanilang mga obligasyon. Kaya y’ong mga manning agency, binabantaan namin kayo, itigil ninyo na ‘yan dahil ‘pag nahuli namin kayo, sigurado katakot-takot na kaso aabutin ninyo,” ani Eje.

Una nang ipinag-utos ni Pangulong Duterte sa mga kaukulang ahensya ng pamahalaan na tutukan ang pagbibigay-ayuda at pagpapauwi sa lalawigan ng mga kababayang naipit sa Metro Manila sa gitna ng community quarantine.

Samantala, muli namang nanawagan ang Manila International Airport Authority sa mga pasahero na huwag pupunta sa mga paliparan kung hindi pa kumpirmado ang kanilang flight. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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