Manila International Airport Authority general manager Eddie Monreal on Monday renewed call to air travelers to cooperate with the intensified security screening procedures at the country’s main gateway.
“Redundancy checks will remain because it keeps everyone safe,” the airport chief said.
Monreal said at present, passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport go through seven security checks from the time they enter the terminal building until they get to the pre-departure gate.
Check-in bags, on the other hand, are checked four times and are escorted by security going to the aircraft. Additional checks are conducted when screeners notice suspicious-looking items.
The Office for Transportation Security maintains a list of prohibited items both for check in and hand-carry bags. The list is updated from time to time.
In 2018, NAIA screeners intercepted and confiscated a total of 2,291 prohibited items ranging from simple empty bullet shells used as amulets to semi-automatic pistols.
Airport authorities worldwide adopt standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization on person and baggage screening. Contracting States however may adopt additional checks on the basis of prevailing threat levels in their country.
Monreal said that aside from adhering to ICAO standards, security procedures in NAIA are implemented in accordance with the Airport Security Program guided by the National Civil Aviation Security Program on the national level.
“Security checks should not be perceived as an inconvenience when you have thousands of lives to protect everyday. We would rather err on the side of safety than lose them,” Monreal explained.
Late last year, the US Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) conducted an assessment and gave recommendations on security enhancement and improvements in NAIA.