The United States has issued a warning that security at the Philippines’s main airport does not meet international standards, urging travelers to exercise “increased caution”.
The US Department of Homeland Security issued a travel advisory saying security at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) was not “consistent” with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.
US embassy in Manila said on its website that travelers have to “exercise increased caution when traveling to or from Ninoy Aquino International Airport.”
The advisory was based on an assessment by security experts from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the US homeland security department said without stating their specific findings.
A statement on the US homeland security department website said that the agency had directed airlines issuing tickets for travel between the two nations to notify passengers of the assessment.
TSA representatives have been working with the Philippine government in “assisting airport and transportation authorities in bringing NAIA up to international security standards”.
Manila International Airport general manager Ed Monreal said on Thursday the Philippines would follow international aviation security standards.
Monreal told reporters that all points raised by the TSA auditors have either been addressed or are in the process of being addressed and that NAIA is “very, very safe”.
Monreal said TSA auditors were in the Philippines in September and had observed that the Manila airport had some gates with faulty locks while security checkpoints were inconsistent.
He added the Philippines had hired additional guards and would procure x-ray machines to comply with the recommendations made by the TSA.
The airport is known for flight delays and its security personnel had faced allegations of extorting money from passengers.
In 2013, a gunman opened fire outside the airport, killing four people including a town mayor.