Travelers said they took more than an hour to get to the departure area of the NAIA terminals because of the long lines of vehicles.
Rudy Santos
Travelers protest NAIA traffic
Rudy Santos (The Philippine Star) - January 7, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Departing passengers yesterday complained of traffic jams at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) due to stricter inspection of vehicles.

Travelers said they took more than an hour to get to the departure area of the NAIA terminals because of the long lines of vehicles.

Consuelo Fernandez said she left her house in Cavite at around 10 a.m. for her 2 p.m. flight. She arrived at the airport before 1 p.m.

Airport security officials called for public cooperation due to the random checking of vehicles recommended by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

According to the officials, the stricter inspections were part of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA)’s response to the US Department of Homeland Security’s observation that security at the NAIA was insufficient.

“The government is coordinating with other international assessment agencies, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, which found Manila airports to be generally satisfactory,” MIAA general manager Ed Monreal said.

The recommendations of the TSA include the installation of additional equipment such as X-ray machines, walk-through metal detectors and alarm systems. 

“Procurement of these items is under process, but this will take time because these are not off-the-shelf and will require time for manufacturing and delivery. These equipment are expected to be installed in the second quarter of the year,” Monreal said.

Another TSA recommendation was the conduct of background check on newly hired airport personnel, which includes National Intelligence Coordinating Agency checks for those implementing security control and submission of new National Bureau of Investigation clearance for MIAA access pass holders.

The TSA also recommended a change in the “security culture” among long-time NAIA personnel on consistent implementation and observance of strict security procedures. 

While waiting for the delivery of the security equipment, Transportation  Secretary Arthur Tugade has given instructions to implement manual intervention such as the hiring of additional contracted guards around the clock. 

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