Philippines airports on heightened alert following bomb threat

Ticketing hall of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City, Metro Manila
Ticketing hall of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City, Metro Manila. Photo Credit: Patrickroque01 CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Philippines has taken the decision to place its airports on a heightened security alert following the receipt of an anonymous email threat.

Heightened security at 42 airports

All 42 of the country’s commercial airports have raised their security level after an anonymous email was received threatening that aircraft flying out of Manila “could explode”.

According to the news source Channel News Asia, the aviation police chief Jack Wanky said today (Friday, October 6) that the threat is “most likely a hoax.” Nevertheless, heightened security measures have been put in place as a safety measure.

The Philippines aviation regulator Civil Aviation Authority (CAAP) issued a memo briefing to media on Friday, October 6.

CAAP briefing

The CAAP memo, which was dated Wednesday October 4, said that air traffic services had received an anonymous email around 8 AM on Wednesday which referred to a threat to flights from Manila to Davao, Bicol and regional tourist regions of Palawan and Cebu.

Cebu and Palawan are popular island destinations for international tourists.

The wording of the email received said “an air plane will explode” at Manila’s international airport. With respect to the regional areas, the email said “Cebu, Palawan, Bicol and Davao will also be hit.”

Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport Photo Credit:
Patrickroque01, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

“While the information is currently under validation, immediate enhanced security measures are being implemented across all airports,” CAAP said in their memo.

Philippines Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista advised that patrols had been increased and K9 units had been deployed at all terminals in Manila International Airport.

It is understood that flight operations are continuing as per normal, albeit with these heightened security measures in place.

“There are no expected impacts to any scheduled flights and we would like to ensure the travelling public that protocols are in place to ensure everyone’s safety and security,” Transport Secretary Bautista said in his statement.

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