Caap eyes Davao airport improvements

DAVAO. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines in Davao Region beefs up airport security measures and vowed to improve its facilities after security concerns of greeters were raised online. (SunStar File)

THE Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) in Davao Region has vowed to improve some facilities and has beefed up security measures at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport following the security concerns of airport passengers and greeters raised by a netizen.

In an interview with SunStar Davao, Caap Davao airport manager Rex A. Obcena said they are currently acting on the concerns pointed out by Davao-based environmentalist and D' Bone Collector Museum Inc. president Darell Blatchley on Facebook.

On Thursday, November 7, Blatchley clamored on the lack of lighting, garbage cans, flight monitoring facilities, and the narrow spaces in the greeters' area. He said he also saw vehicles parked in prohibited areas.

Obcena said the vehicular parking area is operated by a private concessionaire from Manila.

"Naa nay naga-operate nga private concessionaire. Apil sa kontrata ang the cleanliness of the area and maintenance sa mga street lamp posts (There is a private concessionaire operating the area. Part of their contract is the cleanliness of the area and the maintenance of the street lamps)," he said.

He also said he will issue a memorandum to the concessionaire that will compel them to fulfill their obligations based on their contract.

But he said his office will strive to install lamp posts as much as their budget can provide.

"We will exhaust among existing inventory sa suga nga among mabutangan gyud siya at least man lang sa didto sa mga greeters' area (We will exhaust our existing inventory to install lights at least in the greeters' area)," he said.

Obcena said he has also ordered his security personnel to create a group to focus on the airport traffic at the greeter's area especially in the evening.

Blatchley posted on his Facebook that the narrow area for the greeters of arriving passengers exposed them to the risk of being bumped by speeding taxis.

Obcena admitted that the greeters' area is one of the facilities lacking in the airport. At present, greeters and the arriving passengers who are hailing cabs overcrowd in one area.

He said they cannot establish a permanent waiting area for the greeters because of the upcoming airport expansion.

While the project is still under consultation and design, he said he will insist on incorporating the greeters' area. For now, they will look for possible remedy.

Obcena admitted that his security personnel have become lax in their operations apart from the airport being undermanned.

"Kay kana man gud sila karon diha, gamonitor sa passengers, traffic so multitasking (Right now, they are monitoring both the passengers and traffic so they are multitasking)," he said.

"I am assuring the public nga we will address it. Mag-create mi'g another group of security men nga para lang gyud sa pag implement sa traffic rules (We will create another group of security to implement the traffic rules)," he added.

He said he has also reprimanded the private security agency and its guards for allowing private vehicles to park in the No Parking Area.

On the issue of garbage bins, Obcena discouraged garbage bins around the vehicular parking area because it may possibly be used to plant or hide improvised explosive devices (IED).

In a Facebook message to SunStar Davao, Blatchley said: "The fact [that] there are no garbage cans means everyone just drops their trash randomly, adding to the filthy appearance of the arrival waiting area."

Obcena said he has yet to make the private concessionaire accountable for the uncleanliness of the area.

"But sa pagkakaron, ako nang gisugo nga ang uban sa maintenance namo nga maglibot-libot pud sa area, magpulot-pulot pud ang mga plastic (For now, I have ordered some of our maintenance personnel to go around and pick up plastics)," he said.

He also urged the public to help in maintaining the cleanliness of the airport.

"Muawhag pud ko sa ilaha nga while the airport is amoang kargo but tanan ta naay responsibility to make this a beautiful place (I encouraged them that while the airport is our responsibility but all of us are responsible for making this place beautiful)," he said.

Obcena, meanwhile, added they have existing Flight Information Display System installed but they will have to check on it.


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