By Ma. Cristina Arayata
MANILA – Airport authorities are now gearing up for the expected passenger influx this Holy Week.
Around 1.2 million travelers are expected to pass through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) from April 1 to 10 as the holidays extend up to that period, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) announced on Wednesday.
“We are on the path of recovery,” MIAA senior assistant general manager Bryan Co said in a press briefing, adding that mitigating measures are in place.
Co said the Bureau of Immigration (BI) has devised some procedures allowing airline personnel to look for their passengers still in queues during or prior the boarding call.
This way, the airline personnel could direct the passengers in another Immigration counter where their papers could be processed earlier.
Co said the bureau has committed some 60 personnel to augment the manpower at NAIA for the Holy Week.
To further mitigate the long lines, Co said airlines were asked to close their counters on time and to refrain from accepting passengers after the cut-off time.
Passengers were advised to arrive at the airport at least three hours before an international flight, and two hours before a domestic flight.
The MIAA earlier estimated an average of up to 140,000 daily passenger volume at NAIA on Holy Week, up from the current average of 120,000 passengers daily.
Meanwhile, the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) announced Wednesday that the “threat and vulnerability assessment team” will be deployed in various transportation facilities starting April 1.
Over 2,400 personnel will man the airports nationwide, according to the OTS.
Passengers are reminded to personally pack their bags and ensure they do not bring prohibited items to prevent delays at screening checkpoints.
The list of prohibited items on board the aircraft can be viewed at the OTS website and social media platforms, it said. (PNA)