MANILA, Philippines - The general manager of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) on Wednesday confirmed that snakes sometimes wander near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) but denied that any had gotten inside the airport.
In an interview on ANC's "Headstart", MIAA GM Jose Angel Honrado confirmed that a python was caught along the access road of terminals 2 and 3 last Saturday.
"Hindi nakita sa airport yun. Sa road network nakita yun. Galing sa Nayong Pilipino. Hindi makikita sa airport kasi it's very far from the terminal. You won't see it because it's an access road connecting terminal 2 and terminal 4. It's almost impossible to see," he said.
The python is now under the safekeeping of the Wildlife Rescue Area of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau.
Last September 27, another python was also caught near NAIA Terminal 3. The Philippine Aviation Security Services Corporation also caught a 5-feet python near the airport last year.
Birds and bees
Snakes aren't the only animals that have caused problems at the airport.
Last May, bees suddenly swarmed the control panels of five aero bridges, preventing controllers from attaching the movable walkways to arriving airplanes in Terminal 2.
Five domestic flights and 2 international flight of Philippine Airlines were affected by the closure of the aero bridges.
Migratory birds and pigeons have also caused headaches for airlines.
Last January, the Airline Operators Council complained to the Manila International Airport Authority about the worsening problem of birds flying into planes.
Alex Cariaga, head of the airport's ground operations safety division, said there had been 23 incidents in which birds were sucked up into jet engines last year.
The so-called "bird strikes", which could cause a plane to crash, was up from just nine in 2009, Cariaga told Agence France-Presse
However there had been no major incident yet due to the bird strikes.
Cariaga said the problem appeared to worsen after developers reclaimed some small lagoons near the airport runway last year to build warehouses.
"We thought it was a good thing because we expected the birds to move elsewhere," he said.
However the birds, mainly egrets, instead moved to the grassy areas beside the runway to hunt frogs, grasshoppers, lizards and other prey.
Apart from the migratory birds, Cariaga said the team also had to deal with domesticated pigeons that were raised by surrounding communities. With Agence France-Presse