Thursday, November 6, 2008

Puerto Princesa airport’s closure order-a ‘reminder’ - ATO exec

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Nov. 6 — Eduardo Landang, Air Transportation Office (ATO) Puerto Princesa branch manager, said the closure order issued by Bureau Fire Protection (BFP) to the Puerto Princesa City Airport (PPCA) is just a “reminder” for alleged non-compliance with fire safety standards and non-payment of administrative fines.

”It is just a reminder and that BFP is just updating us in order for us to comply our commitment,” Lansang told the Philippines News Agency.

He said that Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP)CAAP Director General Ruben F. Ciron is now working on the payment for the administrative fine amounting RR6,000 to prevent the implementation of the closure order.

He cited that BFP-Region 4-B Director Senior Supt. Norman V. Pinion last Oct. 7, issued a letter to ATO reminding the payment of the administrative fine.

He admitted that to date, ATO or PPCA has not complied in relation to the BFP’s imposition of administrative fine.

The imposition of the fines is based on an order of payment issued by the BFP-Region 4-B to Lansang pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 1185, otherwise known as the Fire Code of the Philippines.

It was recalled that in January, 2007, the fire safety inspectors (FSI) of Puerto Princesa City, equipped with Mission Order (MO) No. 1087-07, inspected the PPCA to determine the airport’s compliance with fire safety standards.

They discovered major violations and deficiencies, which included non-existence of fire alarm and warning system; non-installation of wet standpipe system; non-availability of emergency lights; absence of pre-fire and exit plans at the airport’s hallways and passengers lounge; non-availability of any firefighting equipment; and failure to conduct fire safety seminars.

Lansang assured that fire safety equipment are all incorporated in the airport terminal building which is presently undergoing major rehabilitation under the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), as implementing agency. (PNA)

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