Sep 192014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/02/07MANILA388.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA388 2007-02-02 00:39 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Manila
VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHML #0388/01 0330839
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 020039Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTAE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5048
INFO RULSDMK/DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHMFIUU/TSA WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHMCSUU/FAA NATIONAL HQ WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO IMMEDIATE 3046
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 000388

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MTS AND EB/TRA
FAA FOR TOKYO
SINGAPORE AND TOKYO FOR FAA
COMMERCE FOR BERLINGUETTE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR ECON EINV ETRD RP
SUBJECT: Manila Airport Showcases Security Improvements to Ambassador

REF: A) MANILA 0335

B) 06 MANILA 3743
C) 06 MANILA 3596

MANILA 00000388 001.7 OF 002

——-
Summary
——-

¶1. Ambassador toured the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on
February 1. The Manila Airport Authority described and pointed out
its recent security enhancements to ensure secure, efficient, and
comfortable passenger travel. The Authority started charging an
additional four dollar (200 peso) security fee today to cover the
estimated $112 million investment in security upgrades. Officials
will work with the International Air Transport Association to
determine satisfactory criteria for airline relocation to the new
terminal, which may open with a limited trial run in April (ref A).
The Airport General Manager said he would soon meet with a US air
ambulance firm now based in Guam that is exploring providing
services for the Philippines. Ambassador used the visit to stress
the importance of aviation security and the need to allocate future
facilities to all carriers in an open and transparent fashion. End
Summary.

¶2. The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) gave the
Ambassador and Embassy staff a security briefing followed by a tour
of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on February 1 to showcase
its efforts to establish the airport as a globally-competitive,
world-class facility with world-class management. General Manager
Alfonso Cusi stressed that MIAA is striving to make the airport a
secure and efficient operation for the passengers. The briefing
outlined physical security enhancements, training of Aviation
Security Screening Officers, and plans to purchase over $100 million
in Explosive Detection Screening equipment, manufactured in the
United States and certified by the U.S. Transportation Security
Administration. The Director of the Philippine Aviation Security
Group stated that over 200 security screening officers have been
trained and certified by instructors from the International Civil
Aviation Organization (ICAO). In addition, over 100 Philippine
National Police, who supervise the screening officers, have
completed the ICAO training course and are now undergoing
certification.

¶3. MIAA estimated the initial cost for the security measures at
approximately $112 million with another $10 million needed over five
years for routine maintenance. The Authority expects to collect
approximately $14 million the first year from the new airport
security tax and increasing amounts each succeeding year as the
number of travelers grows. Overseas Filipino workers are exempt
from the security fee and other airport taxes. The officials said
the exemption demonstrates the government’s appreciation for the
remittances workers send back to the Philippines — about $12-13
billion in 2006.

¶4. Assistant General Manager Tirso Serrano briefed the Ambassador
on the plans for the new airport terminal, Terminal Three. The new
terminal will have a dedicated food court and shopping area for
travelers and their families. Serrano estimated there are three
well-wishers for each Filipino traveler. He noted a global trend of
airports earning revenue from non-aviation services. He planned to
tap into this opportunity to shift the airport’s income reliance
from runway fees and traveler taxes to retail sales and business
services.

¶5. The new terminal will open for a limited, trial run in April.
There will be a “rolling opening” as the airlines and
concessionaires gradually move into the terminal while contractors
finish the equipment installation and construction. Serrano said
the airport is “98% complete,” with further finishing touches
required on the drainage system and cargo road. All electronic and
communications systems will be tested during the trial run.
Contractors will assess and confirm the structural integrity and
safety systems of the facility, which has been idle since 2002 when
construction stopped because of legal squabbles. Contractors will
also assess the terminal’s value in order to determine compensation
for the private sector consortium from which the GRP expropriated
the terminal in 2005.

¶6. According to Senior Assistant General Manager Oscar Paras, MIAA
is working with the International Air Transport Association to
determine fair criteria for moving airlines into Terminal Three. He

MANILA 00000388 002 OF 002

suggested that aircraft size would be a major factor, with airlines
using large planes such as Boeing 747s and A-320s moving into the
new terminal while airlines flying smaller planes such as Boeing
737s or A-319s moving into Terminal Two. MIAA will determine its
final airline relocation criteria and conditions before March.

¶7. Cusi said he would meet soon with a US air ambulance firm now
based in Guam that is exploring providing services for the
Philippines. Ambassador noted the presence of U.S. flag carriers
now operating at MIAA and stressed the importance of transparency
and a level playing field as the airport expanded facilities and
welcomed new carriers into operation.

——-
Comment
——-

¶8. NAIA security officials have made vast improvements in airport
security over the past two years, which resulted in 2006 in the
first favorable TSA airport security assessment in three years.
KENNEY

   

 

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