Iloilo City—The Iloilo International Airport in Cabatuan town, Iloilo province showed its bomb explosion response capabilities through a full-scale simulation exercise on Saturday morning.
The drill tested the abilities of the various agencies, including the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, and Department of Health, in responding to a bomb explosion that stemmed from “unattended baggage.”
“It has been a successful activity, of course, with the cooperation of other agencies [that] helped us in the preparation,” Manuela Luisa Palma, acting airport manager of the Iloilo International Airport, said in an interview. The exercise started at 8 a.m. and ended at 9:10, she said.
Palma noted the improvement of the Iloilo International Airport and the multi-agencies in the full-scale emergency response.
With the help of the National Telecommunications Commission, she said the airport has improved a lot in the communication aspect. “In the previous activities, we had lapses. So, this one, we have improved,” she said.
The logistics aspects, however, can still be improved and the airport can add more equipment for radio communication.
The Iloilo International Airport, being a certified aerodrome, conducts full-scale emergency response drills once every two years.
“If you are a certified aerodrome, it is a requirement and to also test the inter-operability of the various agencies that help us when there are incidents in the airport. We are not asking for it, but if there are incidents, this will be the scenario. We can see the readiness assessment [and] operations preparedness of each agency,” Palma said.
She also assured that the strict security measures at the airport would prevent any bomb incident.
“We have an implementation plan and security procedures that we follow,” Palma said, noting the task in explosive ordnance is being spearheaded by the Iloilo Airport Police Station.
Meanwhile, five domestic flights were affected and transferred to other available hours due to the drill.
Airport operations resumed immediately after the exercise, Palma said.
The Iloilo International Airport has an average of 31 flights a day and caters to 3,400 to 4,000 inbound and outbound passengers. PNA