Airport authorities appealed to passengers not to bring firearms and other banned items to avoid flight delays and inconvenience to air travelers, especially this holiday season when the number of passengers are expected to increase.
The Office for Transportation Security (OTS) made the appeal as the agency continue to apprehend people carrying prohibited items at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
OTS screening personnel recently caught a 40-year old air traveler in possession of undocumented .22-caliber firearm at NAIA – Terminal 4.
Reports showed that the passenger, who was bound for Cagayan de Oro, was undergoing the usual screening when an OTS officer detected something, prompting him and another officer to conduct the screening in private.
OTS officer Joseph Lee Caliwag and airport security screening checkpoint Supervisor Franklin Buscano found the firearm tucked inside the passenger’s underwear, and the gun bears no serial number.
The OTS turned over the case to officials of Police—Aviation Security Group (Avsegroup) who later filed charges of illegal possession of firearm after the traveler failed to show and provide them appropriate documents.
The authorities advises the public to ensure that firearms to be transported bear appropriate documentation from the law enforcement agencies, and must be declared and comply with the proper handling requirement by the airline.
They also reminded the people about the danger of bringing in or carrying firearms and explosives, saying “doing so will not only delay your flight, but it would also cause panic among other passengers.”
The Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) of the PNP is the police unit handling clearances for passengers who wish to bring guns and ammunition when traveling. The FEO will issue the passenger’s Permit to Transport, the basic requirement for a passenger to be allowed to bring a gun in-flight.
The said office also issues other related documents depending on the purpose of transport such as a License to Operate, Importation Permit, Authorization to Export, and a Certificate of Balance.
On the date of departure, coordination will be made by the FEO with the Avsegroup firearm facilitator deployed to the airport.
After approaching the police desk at the airport, the passenger will be accompanied by the facilitator to the Customs area for clearance before the passenger is checked-in for the flight.