MIAA: 12 red lightning alerts in 5 hours at NAIA

Rudy Santos - The Philippine Star
MIAA: 12 red lightning alerts in 5 hours at NAIA
Passengers queue to enter the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City on February 24, 2024.
STAR / Ernie Penaredondo

MANILA, Philippines — The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) issued 12 red lightning alerts (RLAs) over five hours, causing “consequential delays” for flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Friday.

The MIAA’s Airport Ground Operations and Safety Division, which issues the alerts, reported that the RLAs started at 5:16 p.m. and the last alert was lifted at 8:53 p.m.

According to the MIAA, the 12 RLAs represent the highest number of consecutive RLAs issued at one time for this year. The average number of RLAs issued at a time is two to four.

An RLA is issued to suspend flight and ground operations as a precautionary safety measure taken to prevent untoward incidents when lightning is prevalent in the immediate area and may endanger personnel, passengers and flight operations.

MIAA general manager Eric Ines appealed for understanding and cooperation from travelers affected by the delayed flights.

The practice of suspending ramp movement for both aircraft and ground personnel during an LRA has been in place since 2012, he said.

“While aircraft at NAIA are protected from lightning strikes through the presence of lightning arresters, these alerts primarily prioritize the safety of people on the ground, which is of paramount importance for us as an airport operator,” Ines said.

NAIA has 20 lightning arresters and four lightning shelters strategically located at the ramp area.

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