The Manila International Airport on Monday said that the four Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminals are safe with Lightning Protection System.
NAIA have Lightning Protection Systems, MIAA assures travelers
( - June 25, 2019 - 6:36pm

MANILA, Philippines— The Manila International Airport on Monday said that the four Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminals have a Lighting Protection System despite the lightning alerts that suspend operations at the airport from time to time.

MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal cited that there are 20 lightning arresters to ensure better protection coverage.

Lightning arresters are devices used to protect electrical and telecommunication facilities of buildings from the damaging effects of lightning, MIAA said.

"A lightning surge is captured through the arrester onto the ground which absorbs it," it added.

According to the MIAA, the current 20 lightning arresters of the NAIA were upgraded in 2016. It added that these devices are checked every three years to comply with the prescribed international standards on lightning protection for vital facilities.

The MIAA has been issuing lightning alerts recentl, which have prompted temporary suspensions of ramp operations in NAIA.

It said that lightning alerts are adopted in most airports worldwide as a safety measure to protect ramp workers from death or injury caused by a lightning strike.

The airport authority said that NAIA lightning arresters have a spherical or dome coverage of 100 meters.

Countries such as Hong Kong, Australia, Brunei and many others also impose lightning alert levels to ensure the safety air riding public and ramp workers.

The MIAA explained that “while the airplanes have their own lightning protection, continued movement of ground personnel are discouraged because of the possibility of current to travel on the pavement before it finally discharges on the ground especially if the aircraft has not finally reached the radius of protection.”

“Personal protection equipment or gears worn by ramp workers may not be enough to protect them from the at least 24 megavolts of current carried by a lightning,” it added.

For MIAA's part, Monreal sought for the NAIA passengers understanding for the inconvenience caused by ramp operations suspension during lightning red alerts.

He also called on the cooperation of airline operators to ensure the passengers that announcements are made on board aircraft when held on the ground or are enroute to NAIA.

The airport chief said that alerts are also announced over NAIA’s public address systems to keep the passengers informed about the prevailing situation.

 “While we are duty bound to keep flights safe, we are also duty bound to protect the lives of airport personnel while at work especially those working in areas where exposure to environmental hazards is greater,” Monreal said.

Two weeks ago, more than 50 flights were delayed while seven were diverted to the Clark, Pampanga airport due to a red lightning alert.

President Rodrigo Duterte then conducted a surprise inspection of the NAIA Terminal 2 after hearing reports about flight delays and cancellations. —Rosette Adel


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