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Red lightning alert suspends NAIA ramp operations

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, June 20th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Ramp movement at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport was temporarily suspended on Thursday after the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) issued a red lightning alert.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said the alert was raised at 5:17 p.m.

LIGHTNING ADVISORY1730HPAGASA declared a Lightning Red Alert at 1717H today.Ramp movement for both airport…

Posted by Ninoy Aquino International Airport MIAA on Thursday, 20 June 2019

“Ramp movement for both airport personnel and aircraft is suspended for safety reasons,” it said. “A prolonged lightning red alert may cause delays in flight operations.”

A red lightning alert is issued 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.

As of posting, the MIAA has downgraded the lightning alert to yellow around 5:55 p.m.

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Ground crew hurt after lightning strikes NAIA Terminal 1

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

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)

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DOTr warns airliners of stiffer sanctions for airport slot misuse

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, June 20th, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Ninoy Aquino International Airport

MANILA, Philippines – Airline operators at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) who misuse their slots will face stiffer sanctions, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Thursday.

In a statement posted on Facebook, the DOTr said this is following the signing of Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2019-01 by Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General Jim Sydiongco and Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla.

The circular was noted by DOTr Undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Manuel Antonio Tamayo.

DOTR AIR SECTOR PRIMES STRICTER SANCTIONS FOR AIRPORT SLOT MISUSEAirline operators at the Ninoy Aquino International…

Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Wednesday, 19 June 2019

The DOTr said the JMC 2019-01 aims for the efficient utilization of airport slots to help decongest NAIA.

Under the circular, the definition of slot misuse has been expanded to cover the holding of slots that the airline does not intend to operate, as well as the holding of slots for an operation other than planned for the purpose of denying capacity to another aircraft operator.

“Also constituting slot misuse are the requisition of new slots that the airline does not intend to operate, and the requisition of slots for an operation other than indicated with the intention of gaining improved priority,” the statement read.

The DOTr said that under the circular, the Timeslot Committee (TC) will review the slot coordinator’s findings of the slot monitoring performance of airlines.

A disciplinary action will be initiated by the slot coordinator against an airline that intentionally misuses its allocated slots.

The agency said an airline that operates services without the corresponding timeslots, on a regular basis, will not be entitled to historical precedence for either the actual times they operated or for the allocated times.

The DOTr further said that an airline that continues to misuse or inefficiently use timeslots may be relegated to a lower priority in future slot allocations.

“If an airline, despite being sanctioned, continues to misuse or inefficiently use timeslots, the TC shall have the authority to recall slot approval and/or suspend or cancel slot allocations of the erring airline,” the DOTr said.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade commended MIAA, CAAP and CAB on the issuance of the JMC, noting that it is high time for airlines to take responsibility.

“Landing on an airport is a privilege. To intentionally disregard the value of these airport slots is unethical, and an aggravation to the current state of congestion at NAIA. We have to recognize the domino effects of these slot misuses, which ultimately result in the massive inconvenience to our air passengers,” Tugade said.

The DOTr said in the recent years a substantial increase in the number of passengers, flights, and airport slots per hour at the NAIA, resulting in a compounded state of congestion.

Before 2016, NAIA passenger traffic stood at 36.5 million. The figure swelled to 45 million, or an increase of 8.4 million passengers or 23.08%, by 2018, according to the DOTr.

During the same period, the number of flights also grew by over 14,000 (5.75%). Consequently, airport slots per hour increased by 22.2% from 36 to 44.

JMC 2019-01 is an expansion of the scope of efficient use of slots under JMC 2016-01 signed by the same agencies in July 2016 to ease airline congestion at the four terminals of NAIA.

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Tugade allays flooding concerns amid construction of Sangley Airport

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, June 14th, 2019

File photo: DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday allayed fears of flooding amid the ongoing construction of the Sangley Airport in Cavite.

During an inspection led by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade at the construction site, he said there was no trace of flooding in the area despite rains that occurred overnight.

“Umulan ng malakas kagabi hanggang kaninang madaling araw, pero kita niyo naman, walang baha dito sa airport,” Tugade said in a statement posted on Facebook.

IN PHOTOS: DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade led the inspection on the construction progress of Sangley Airport in Cavite…

Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Thursday, 13 June 2019

He also assured that the airport development will continue despite inconveniences to meet the operational timeline set by President Rodrigo Duterte.

READ: DOTr orders 24/7 construction of Sangley airport

Tugade earlier ordered the 24/7 construction of Sangley Airport to expedite the transfer of domestic flights to reduce congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“Let us not see shadows when there is no sun. If we are all to answer the ‘perhaps’ and the ‘maybes,’ nothing will happen in this country,” he said.

“We should not stop development simply because we are afraid of future inconveniences. Bear in mind that the price of development is an inconvenience,” he added.

During Friday’s inspection, Tugade checked the completed asphalt overlay of the runway, as well as the ongoing construction of the Passenger Terminal Building (PTB), the drainage system, and the hangars.

He also inspected an area for the landing berth of the ferry operations.

The DOTr reported that the construction of additional facilities at the Sangley Airport, which started last year and is now at 48.68% completion rate.

The inspection was conducted in collaboration with the Philippine Air Force and the Philippine Navy.

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