Ex airport official suggests using ‘lightning arresters’ to make NAIA safer


Posted at Jun 23 2019 05:11 AM

A former airport official suggested installing a device known as "lightning arresters" at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City, as lightning strikes become more prevalent.

In an interview on DWIZ on Saturday, former airport general manager Ed Manda said that the apparatus should protect the airport systems and the ground personnel from getting hit by lightning.

“Simple lang ang solusyon diyan sa (lightning strikes) — lagyan ng (mga) lightning arrester ang paligid ng airport, lalo na sa airport terminal or airport ground operators movement area para protektado ang airport ground workers," Manda said.

A lightning arrester is a device designed to protect the insulation and conductors of systems, such as airport structures, from the damaging effects of lightning. It also reduces the susceptibility of airports to lightning strikes or surges.

When there are lightning alerts, airport operations are forced to stop while passengers are stranded inside aircrafts because a lightning surge poses danger.

Manda explained that during his time as airport chief installation of several lightning arresters was being processed. However, it never came to fruition because of the NAIA-3 privatization issue at the time.

“Noon pa plano nang lagyan ng lightning arrester (’yung mga airport), pero wala pang kasiguruhan kung magbubukas ang Terminal 3 kaya hindi muna naipatupad ang paglagay ng lightning arrester,” Manda said.

He added that the purchase of the said devices was not prioritized at the time, because lightning strikes were not as frequent.

According to Manda, airports in most countries have lightning arresters installed around their structures.

“May lightning alert din naman sa ibang airport sa buong mundo but they know that with properly installed lightning arrester the ground personnel are protected even during lightning alert advisory." — Report from Raoul Esperas