Ground crew hurt after lightning strikes NAIA Terminal 1

Robie de Guzman   •   June 26, 2019   •   1378

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)

NAIA passengers urged to sanitize, observe cough etiquette

Marje Pelayo   •   January 24, 2020

Passengers wearing face masks who arrived from Guangzhou, China lineup for immigration at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, Philippines, 22 January 2020. According to media reports, at least nine people have died and more than 400 people are confirmed infected by a new respiratory virus which was first detected in Wuhan, China. The virus, called the coronavirus, can be passed between humans and has spread to the USA, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. EPA-EFE/MARK R. CRISTINO

MANILA, Philippines – The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has ordered terminal managers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to ensure availability at all times of hand sanitizers in all of its four terminals.

During a press briefing on Friday (January 24), the Bureau of Quarantine stressed that it is important to practice good hand hygiene as it is still the best way to protect oneself from acquiring any virus such as the novel coronavirus.

Proper hand hygiene includes hand washing with non-antimicrobial soap and water, alcohol-based hand rub, or antiseptic handwash.

Likewise, the Bureau also emphasized the strict practice of cough etiquette which includes covering one’s mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing preferably with disposable tissue.

Proper disposal of the used tissue is further advised.

It is also advised to strengthen one’s immune system by drinking lots of fluid and eating healthy meals.

Meanwhile, MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal expressed the agency’s full support to the Bureau of Quarantine in its efforts to mitigate the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

“We always recognize each other’s mandates. In this situation, we defer to the Bureau of Quarantine and will submit to their guidelines,” Monreal said.

Quarantine officers are provided with a space for their examination booth located in areas accessible to an exit to the tarmac in case of need to transfer suspected cases to designated hospitals.

MIAA will also provide writing desks for passengers especially those from China to fill-out the health declaration card.

Monreal also ordered terminal police chiefs to strictly sanitize quarantine areas from other airport personnel including the members of media.

PH immigration denies entry to Mongolian, Briton at NAIA

Robie de Guzman   •   January 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino Immigration officials at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have recently barred a Mongolian woman and a Briton from entering the Philippines.

Bureau of Immigration port operations division chief Grifton Medina said they barred the entry of a Mongolian woman who is wanted for beating her husband, and is a suspected terrorist from the United Kingdom.

The Mongolian woman, identified as 33-year old Unurjargal Altantsetseg, was intercepted last Friday upon her arrival at the Mactan, Cebu International Airport from Incheon, South Korea.

Medina said the woman is a subject of a red notice issued by the Interpol in April 2019 due to a case of assault and maltreatment that was lodged against her before a court in Ulan Bator, Mongolia.  

He added the battery case stemmed from an incident that happened on March 9, 2019, wherein Altantsetseg allegedly beat her husband during an argument, which resulted in the victim becoming blind and sustaining serious physical injuries.

Meanwhile, Medina said that a 51-year-old Briton was denied entry last week at the NAIA Terminal 3 after they received information regarding the unidentified Briton’s alleged terrorist links.

“Intelligence information received from foreign counterparts described him as being associated with a known terrorist group or being involved in terrorist activity, thus he was included in our alert list,” Medina said.

Both passengers were issued exclusion orders and booked on the first available flight to their port of origin.

Liquid marijuana worth P700k seized from warehouses at NAIA – BOC

Robie de Guzman   •   January 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Some 330 cartridges of liquid marijuana were seized from various warehouses at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the BOC said the drug cartridges, which were confiscated from air cargo parcels, were estimated to worth P700,000.

Customs personnel examining the air parcels initially discovered a total of 11 packages containing liquid marijuana.

The bureau said it coordinated the seizure of drugs with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group.

The cartridges of liquid marijuana were then turned over to PDEA for further investigation of its consignees and senders.

The BOC stressed that the importation of “hempseed” and “Cannabidiol” is still considered illegal and may be subject to seizure pursuant to the provisions of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, and the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

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