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US says Manila airport security not up to ICAO standards

The US Department of Homeland Security has determined that aviation security at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International airport (NAIA) is ineffective and inconsistent with ICAO standards.

The department says the determination was based on assessments by a team of security experts from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). It has since directed airlines issuing tickets for travel between the US and Manila to notify passengers of the determination, and for the advisory to be displayed prominently at US airports that provide regular scheduled flights to Manila.

It adds that TSA representatives have been working with the Philippine government to assist airport and transportation authorities in bringing NAIA up to international security standards.

“TSA will continue to work with the Philippines and assist its aviation authorities with correcting the security deficiencies at the airport,” it adds.

In response, Philippines’ department of transportation says ICAO’s last security audit found the airport’s standards of safety and security to be “generally satisfactory”, after taking into account the airport operator and the country’s transportation security office’s recommendations on implementation of a corrective plan.

It adds that the TSA has since recommended the installation of new equipment such as X-ray machines, walk-through metal detectors and alarm systems, and that procurement of these are underway and to be installed in the second quarter of 2019.

Other recommendations include having new background check procedures for airport staff and a change in the “security culture” among long-time staff in the implementation of security procedures.

It adds that the government and the airport operator are “fully committed” to put in measures to ensure safety and security of the travelling public.

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