Lightning alert delays 38 flights

A total of 38 domestic and international flights were affected as the Manila International Airport Authority issued a red lightning alert late Sunday night and early Monday morning.

Two of those flights were diverted to Clark while the rest were delayed departures and arrivals at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

It was the third consecutive Sunday that the MIAA had issued a red lightning alert, a safety measure to prevent any untoward incident from happening when lightning is prevalent in the immediate area and may endanger passengers, personnel and flight operations.

During this period, the ramp movement for both aircraft and ramp personnel is temporarily suspended.

The most recent red lightning alert was issued from 10:35 p.m. to 11:13 p.m. Sunday, and from 12:30 a.m. to 1:35 a.m. on Monday.

Earlier this month, President Rodrigo Duterte conducted a surprise visit to NAIA after hearing reports of flight delays and cancellations.

Authorities claimed that the delay was due to the red lightning alert issued on June 9.

Manila International Airport Authority general manager Eddie Monreal on Monday assured air travelers the four airport terminals were safe with the MIAA’s Lightning Protection System.

“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.

He said the Ninoy Aquino International Airport had 20 lightning arresters that were upgraded in 2016 to ensure better protection. These devices, he added, were checked every three years in adherence to internationally prescribed standards on lightning protection for vital facilities.  With Joel E. Zurbano

Topics: Manila International Airport Authority , red lightning alert , Rodrigo Duterte , Eddie Monreal
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