Saudis to pro­vide Naia with x-ray ma­chines

Business Mirror - - BM REPORTS - By Recto Mercene

THE Manila In­ter­na­tional Air­port Au­thor­ity ( Miaa) ap­proved on Wed­nes­day the re­quest of the Saudi govern­ment to put up x- ray ma­chines at the Ni­noy Aquino In­ter­na­tional Air­port ( Naia) Ter­mi­nal 1 for the Saudis’ own pro­tec­tion against pos­si­ble threat.

Miaa As­sis­tant Gen­eral Man­ager for Se­cu­rity and Emer­gency Ser­vices Je­sus Gor­don Des­canzo said the x- ray ma­chines are ex­pected to ar­rive from Riyadh next month.

The ma­chines will be flown on­board a Sau­dia Air­lines plane.

The Saudi Em­bassy in Manila ear­lier no­ti­fied the Depart­ment of For­eign Affairs ( DFA) that the Saudi govern­ment “re­ceived from con­cerned au­thor­i­ties that the Ira­nian Revo­lu­tion­ary Guards are al­legedly ini­ti­at­ing and su­per­vis­ing a plan to hi­jack or bomb a Saudi Ara­bian air­craft, and the said plan is al­leged to have reached to an ad­vanced stage.”

Mean­while, Of­fice of Trans­porta­tion Se­cu­rity (OTS) per­son­nel who man the ini­tial and fi­nal se­cu­rity checks at the Naia ter­mi­nals started to use the EQO body scan­ners that can de­tect even small amounts of ex­plo­sives in re­sponse to the call of the Saudi govern­ment to in­ten­sify body and lug­gage in­spec­tion.

Also in re­sponse to the re­quest of the Saudi govern­ment, Des­canzo called the at­ten­tion of the OTS to in­ten­sify its body and lug­gage in­spec­tion of all de­part­ing pas­sen­gers at the air­port, es­pe­cially Saudi- bound pas­sen­gers.

The OTS al­ready re­quire all de­part­ing pas­sen­gers to empty their pock­ets, re­move their watches, shoes, wal­let and belts and place th­ese in a plas­tic tray for scan­ning.

The pas­sen­gers, on the other hand, are sub­jected to a body scan that re­quires 30 sec­onds to 40 sec­onds per pas­sen­ger. In ad­di­tion, pas­sen­gers are made to pass a walk- through metal de­tec­tor be­fore be­ing al­lowed to the de­par­ture area.

Smith De­tec­tion of Sin­ga­pore, sup­plier of the said scan­ner, has trained sev­eral OTS per­son­nel, air­port po­lice and other tech­ni­cal staff on how to op­er­ate the de­tec­tors, but OTS per­son­nel are the only ones au­tho­rized to op­er­ate scan­ners.

The Miaa bought 14 body scan­ners for P12 mil­lion each and in­stalled them in July 2015 in the four Naia ter­mi­nals.

Screen­ers from the OTS said they have been us­ing the body scan­ners since last week.

“Th­ese new scan­ners will greatly help us in de­tect­ing ex­plo­sive ma­te­ri­als even in small amounts and even when planted in­side the body,” an OTS em­ployee said.

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