NAIA prepares for flight resumptions

Aviation Updates Philippines – The operator of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is now preparing for the gradual flight resumptions in the next few weeks as it ramps up its health and safety protocols at all terminals.

BETTER PROTECTED. Airport authorities have installed acrylic barriers as a protective measure against COVID-19. Photo from MIAA Media Affairs. 

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) released several guidelines for its passengers and staff amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The MIAA said these are foreseen as the "new way of life" once flights resume at the Philippine capital's main gateway.

"These guidelines aim to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in the Philippines. They are foreseen to be the new way of life for both passengers and airport staff once travel restrictions are lifted and NAIA resumes operations," the airport authority said.

The following are MIAA's new guidelines for air travelers:

  1. Wearing a face mask when entering the airport facility.
  2. Everyone entering the airport complex must submit themselves to a mandatory body temperature check.
  3. Social distancing measures shall be strictly observed at all queuing points inside and outside the terminal building. When seating, a “one-seat apart policy” shall be enforced.
  4. With the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) taking the lead, security procedures shall be done through a “no contact means” but not limited to the use of walk-through x-ray machines, portable scanners, handheld metal detectors, and the like, effectively limiting pat-down or manual frisking to exceptional instances or situations.
  5. Only passengers with valid travel documents and confirmed bookings for the day will be allowed to enter the airport facility.
  6. Continuous disinfection of all NAIA facilities especially those used for flight operations.
  7. Foot baths shall remain in all entry and exit points of passengers and airport personnel, including boarding bridges and/or similar areas for passenger embarkation/disembarkation to and from the aircraft.
  8. Safety precaution posters and other health guidelines shall be displayed at noticeable places in the NAIA Terminals.
  9. As required by the Bureau of Quarantine, all passengers that are departing and arriving shall be required to electronically fill-out Health Declaration Form and Passenger Locator Forms for straightforward contact tracing.

According to MIAA, the agency already procured 2,675 boxes (133,750 pieces) of surgical face masks and 4,500 pieces of washable masks. These will be distributed to the airport's workforce.

“We have to stock-up and be prudent in our distribution especially that wearing of masks will now become the new normal,” General Manager Ed Monreal said.

Last week, the COVID-19 National Task Force and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) released new guidelines for the aviation sector that will be applicable when flights resume. The DOTr ordered airports to install a rapid testing facility and procure disinfecting equipment to reassure the safety of the general public.