By Benjamin Lim Vergara
AIRPORT officials on Wednesday appealed to the public to abide the strict security rules being implemented at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal said the “old culture” must be set aside in order for the airport to maintain its Category 1 rating.
The NAIA has been on heightened alert since obtaining the rating thus subjecting all stakeholders, as well as airport users, to much stricter security rules.
According to Monreal during the Kapihan sa NAIA, since NAIA has been rated Category 1, the MIAA should keep to maintain such category rating.
NAIA’s Category 1 status symbolizes its compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.
To maintain a Category 1 rating, a country must adhere to the safety standards of ICAO, the United Nations’ technical agency for aviation that establishes international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance, according to a website.
“The present set up was part of the findings of external security audit. And we have to improve our security to maintain the Category 1 rating,” Monreal said adding that the MIAA has continued complying security audit to keep from being downgraded. The external audit, Monreal said, is an international standard.
The external security audit includes the inspection of airside, the distance of the runway, and complete lighting.
The auditing group is comprised of US-Federal Aviation Administration, Transportation Security Administration, Homeland Security, Canada, Australia and the Office for Transportation Security of the DOTr.
Stakeholders and airport users as well as visitors have undergone strict security check particularly at the airport sentry.
Airport officials and employees riding on a vehicle at the airport’s ramp were being asked to alight to undergo body frisking.
“No one is exempted. All of us were being frisked by security personnel detailed at the ramp area,” MIAA assistant general manager for security and emergency services Arnulfo Junio said.
On his part, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Undersecretary Manuel Antonio Tamayo has expressed that everything is being addressed when it comes to security, “we are not letting our guard down. We are always on alert.”
He added that the Philippines have more than 70 percent global average, which means that our aviation is out of danger of being downgraded to Category 2.