‘MANILA—The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has prepared to accommodate local and international passengers for the Holy Week, as it has tightened security measures within the airport’s premises.
Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal on Thursday said security and the smooth passenger flow are their main focus, especially from April 8-16 when passengers are expected to flock the NAIA.
”(Expect that) uniformed personnel will be very visible,” he said, citing that the airport will have additional security personnel this peak season, and will also have additional canine units.
Police visibility will be both for foot patrol and perimeter patrol. Also, there will be intelligence gathering and sharing with national intelligence agencies about any attempt to disrupt the flow of operations.
As the MIAA tightens security, authorities will be stricter in the access control procedures. The public can also expect a heightened alert at the parking areas.
Oplan Help Desk
Oplan Help Desks will be available at all international and domestic terminals. These will be manned by the MIAA, terminal operators, policemen and medical teams.
Passengers are encouraged to give feedbacks via the hotline, 0917-TextNAIA (8396242). Another hotline is 877-1111.
To make passengers more comfortable at the airport this Lenten season, Monreal has instructed NAIA staff to assist the senior citizens and persons with disabilities.
Free bottled water will be provided at the pre-departure area.
Heavy volume of passengers
Airport authorities are expecting a huge number of passengers, both for the international and domestic flights.
In 2016, NAIA had more than 623,000 international flights, and more than 624,000 domestic flights during the Holy Week season.
Thus, Monreal reiterated his call for passengers to arrive at the airport much earlier than their flight schedules.
While the Philippine Airlines (PAL) earlier advised passengers to arrive four to five hours ahead of flight schedule, Monreal said his advice is still the usual three hours before the international flights, and two and a half hours before domestic flight schedules.
He explained this is because airline counters usually open about two to three hours before flight departure schedule.
”We are trying to avoid the overcrowding of passengers. What are they going to do during the extra two hours? This might further slow down the queue of passengers,” he explained.
”I have also requested the airlines to ensure their check-in counters personnel are complete, and that counters will be opened on time,” Monreal added.
Dilemma at Immigration counters
Since passengers are reportedly facing long lines at the Immigration counters due to a lesser number of Immigration officers, Monreal said the MIAA has offered help to the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
”I suggested that MIAA personnel will assist in organizing the queues, so that the remaining Immigration officers can sit at the counters,” he said.
Monreal said the BI told him that 130-150 Immigration officers will be deployed at NAIA this season to cater to the passengers’ needs.