MIAA bans smoking at NAIA-3 parking lot

Rudy Santos, Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Philippine Star
MIAA bans smoking at NAIA-3 parking lot
An airport officer takes photos of cars damaged by fire at the parking lot extension of NAIA-3.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) yesterday prohibited smoking at the open parking lot of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA-3) following a fire that damaged 19 vehicles on Monday.

“I had the grass removed from the open parking area so there would not be a repeat of the incident,” MIAA general manager Eric Ines said.

While Ines described the incident as a “grass fire,” he said the MIAA is still waiting for an official report from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) on the cause of the fire.

Ines also approved recommendations to install portable fire extinguishers in the area and to have security and safety personnel conduct regular patrols.

Ines ordered a review of closed-circuit television footage of the area to determine what caused the fire.

The parking lot’s concessionaire, Philippine Skylanders Int’l (PSI), has committed to paying for the damage incurred by the owners of the 19 vehicles burned in Monday’s fire.

In a letter addressed to Ines, PSI vice president, general manager and director for legal Gerald Martin Carmiña said that “in the spirit of humanitarian consideration and good faith,” PSI will “shoulder all damage incurred by the owners of the vehicles involved.”

Carmiñ said PSI will fully cooperate with the BFP in the investigation, but noted that the cooperation is not an “admission of fault or negligence on the part of PSI.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Grace Poe said yesterday that the Senate would give the MIAA time to conduct its own investigation of the fire before deciding whether the Senate would conduct its own probe.

Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on public services, said airport management should evaluate how it responded to the fire – “what should be improved and how quickly it should have been addressed.”

She asked if the airport had enough fire extinguishers and whether airport personnel have the proper knowledge and training to deal with emergencies.

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