Airport authorities appealed to passengers not to bring firearms and other banned items to avoid flight delays and inconvenience to air travelers, especially during this peak travel season.
On Wednesday, the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) intercepted a passenger with a piece of luggage containing a gun at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport – Terminal 4.
OTS spokesperson Kim Marquez said Mamayla Tatang, who was bound for Davao via Air Asia flight Z2 611, was undergoing the usual screening when OTS officer Gerlyn Siwa detected something inside the passenger’s luggage.
“Officer Siwa was conducting routinary x-ray screening when she saw an image resembling a firearm, which prompted her to call the attention of OTS checkpoint supervisor Marita Garcia to confirm the image reflected on the screen,” said Marquez.
Garcia immediately called on the baggage inspector as well as a representative from the Philippine National Police – Aviation Security Group (PNP-Avsegroup) to witness the baggage inspection.
The authorities then found a small gun (unknown caliber).
The OTS turned over the case to PNP- Avsegroup officials who later filed charges of illegal possession of firearm after the traveler failed to show and provide them appropriate documents.
Airport 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.