PH Airports Prepare For ‘New Normal’

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The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) prepares for a “new normal” based on the guidelines set by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and other international and domestic airports in the country.

The guidelines aim to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in anticipation of the resumption of the commercial flights after the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) which will end on May 15.

Among the guidelines are wearing of face mask when entering the airport facility; requiring everyone entering the airport complex to submit themselves to mandatory body temperature check; and strict observance of social distancing measures.

MIAA general manager Ed Monreal said the management has been providing face masks to the airport workers, even before the ECQ started in March.

“The purchase is still ongoing, depending on the need,” Monreal told the Philippine News Agency.

In a press statement, the MIAA said it purchased 2,675 boxes of surgical face masks and 4,500 pieces of washable masks “to ensure continuous protection of its workers”.

The MIAA also sought the assistance of the Bureau of Quarantine in determining what type of personal protective equipment is appropriate for its employees given their different work stations.

“We want to make sure that they have the right kind of protection as the nature of their jobs would require,” Monreal said.

MIAA Media Affairs Division head Jess Martinez said around PHP300,000 was allocated for the installation of acrylic barriers in check-in counters to further ensure that social distancing will be observed.

“It was shouldered by the MIAA, not by the airlines. We target to finish the installation of acrylic barriers in all check-in counters at the four NAIA terminals by May 15,” Martinez said.

Monreal said all queuing points would have markings meant for social distancing, adding “one seat apart policy” shall be strictly enforced inside and outside terminal building.

Under the new normal, only passengers with valid travel documents and confirmed bookings for the day will be allowed to enter the airport facility.

All entry and exit points shall have footbaths while continuous disinfection of all NAIA facilities will be ensured, according to the MIAA guidelines.

Local carriers are anticipating the resumption of their commercial flight operations after May 15. (PNA)