The United States Department of Homeland Security (US-DHS) ordered today, 8 August 2019, the rescission of the Public Notice on security conditions at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), which was issued on 27 December 2018.
According to a statement released by the US-DHS earlier this evening, the Philippines was able to make significant improvements in the security operations at the NAIA — with the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and various civil aviation security authorities demonstrating their willingness to work towards sustaining the improvements.
Ahead of the formal advisory, the good news was relayed to Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade by no less than the US Ambassador to the Philippines, His Excellency Sung Kim.
“I am delighted to inform you that DHS has rescinded the public notice on NAIA. Thank you for your strong leadership on this matter… Congratulations to you and your team,” Ambassador Kim told Secretary Tugade.
The NAIA passed two consecutive inspections conducted by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in March and May 2019. Efforts made to efficiently address TSA findings include: the approval and publication of the updated NAIA Security Plan and National Civil Aviation Security Program (NCASP); strict implementation of new security screening standard operating procedures (SOPs); operationalization of alarm system of access doors; use of new screening equipment such as dual view x-ray machines and Explosive Trace Devices (ETDs); recruitment, training and certification of additional Security Screening Officers (SSOs); close coordination among all security units operating at the NAIA, such as the Office for Transportation Security (OTS), PNP Aviation Security Group, MIAA Police, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and contracted Security Guards; and the cooperation of airline companies, ground handlers and their concessionaires.
“This is a welcome development. I am happy that our efforts came into fruition. I would like to especially thank the men and women of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) headed by GM Ed Monreal, DOTr TSA point person Gen. Raul Del Rosario, the men and women of the Office for Transportation Security (OTS), as well as other civil aviation security groups in NAIA. This is truly a collective effort,” Sec. Tugade said.
“While we are happy with this news, we must remember that the more important thing is that we sustain and consistently improve our efforts to ensure the safety and security of the passengers,” Tugade added.
In order to actively support PHL’s efforts to improve airport security, the US State Department has donated 25 Explosive Trace Device (ETDs), and provided Aviation Security Advisors to the Philippines to assist with the development and implementation of corrective measures at the NAIA; analyze security operations; recommend technology use and maintenance; streamline screening operations; and modernize NAIA’s security infrastructure.
The DOTr, along with the MIAA, CAAP, and OTS, commits to sustain an efficient and reliable security system at the NAIA, and work with relevant authorities and stakeholders to ensure compliance with global aviation security standards. DOTR