New Security Measures Adopted at NAIA

Article excerpt

NINOY AQUINO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT -- Stringent security measures were adopted at this airport for the safety of the flying public, this was announced yesterday by NAIA General Manager Edgardo Manda.

According to Manda, they have adopted new security measures set by US aviation officials banning any size of knives from being taken inside the the aircraft.

Manda disclosed that they will closely monitor all vehicles that approach airport terminals. He added that the Philippine National Police-Aviation Security Group (PNP-ASG) will field at least four "air marshals" in each domestic commercial flight to give security to passengers.

American air carriers operating at the NAIA, on the other hand, have taken the cue from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), implementing stricter security measures for their passengers.

American Northwest Airlines announced that access beyond security checkpoints will be limited to passengers with electronic or paper tickets only. Knives of any size, including Swiss Army Knives and blade cutters, will no longer be allowed aboard the cabin.

Although still uncertain on when the FAA will lift the grounding order for all US-bound flights, Northwest Airlines and Continental Airlines announced that they are looking at Saturday as the earliest regular flights to the US will resume.

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) had the same announcement, saying that they will try to accommodate all affected passengers as soon as the skies of the US are cleared for commercial flights.

However, this still depends on the FAA which is yet to determine if all the new security measures have been put into place in all airports across the US.

More than 6,000 US-bound passengers have been affected by the grounding order.

Both Northwest and Continental assured that they will accommodate all of their passengers as soon as the allowed to resume their operations.

Meanwhile, Northwest Airlines is asking all their passengers to refrain from going to the airport at this time and suggested that they call Northwest Reservations for cancellation and rebooking.

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Pilots

NINOY AQUINO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - Philippine immigration officials yesterday required all international pilots and cabin crew to present their travel documents for verification in an effort to thwart terrorists posing as pilots from taking control of any aircraft.

The new measure is part of the government's continuing effort in assuring the safety of the flying public in the wake of a terrorist hijacking of four Amercian airliners in the US last Wednesday.

Immigration Commissioner Andrea Domingo issued the new directive to all immigration officials throughout the country following observations that all international pilots and cabin crew do not present their travel documents to immigration agents upon arrival in the country.

"It has been a common practice for them to just show their company IDs whenever they arrive in the country. …