On Pres. Duterte’s NAIA visit; suspension of operations justified

During the ‘surprise visit’ made by President Rodrigo Duterte at the NAIA Terminal 2,  Senator-elect  Bong Go said such visit was triggered by complaints that reached the President. Apparently, such had something to do with several flight delays and cancellations that had to happen over the weekend due to the ‘red lightning’ alert.

I don’t get why the affected passengers would have the temerity to complain when the delays and cancellations were done for their very own safety, in the first place. Besides, the incident was brought about  clearly by ‘force majeure’ or nature which is beyond anyone’s control.

And while some would probably think cancellations or delays are unnecessary since planes are built to withstand lightning, that is alright if the plane is in the air. But what about ground operations? I was told that basically, the risks are greater on the ground and not while the plane is airborne, which is why there is a need to suspend airport operations.

By ‘basically,’ it means that even the simplest things like opening the door once the plane has  landed poses serious risks in that if a lightning strikes and the cabin crew opens the door, it would bring about electric shock.

Now if you are on a small aircraft -- the kind that does not have tube- the mere act of walking from the plane to the terminal across the tarmac is also a great risk if attended by lightning and thunderstorm.

An aviation expert explained that a ‘red lightning alert’ would mean that the distance from the detected stroke is nine  kilometers or less from the center of an airport aerodrome, so that no movement must happen on the ground as this would be dangerous for the ground personnel.

When lightning strikes metal like planes, it will just go downward straight to the ground and therefore,  anyone who may be outside the plane for one reason or another becomes vulnerable to being struck too.

Red alert, he further explains, would require that there must be no ground movement, ergo,  all planes should not be allowed to fly or take-off, for the simple reason that’ there is a mass of hot and cold air in the atmosphere which may cause the plane to possibly crash due to air pocket, considering that the distance between the ground surface and upon take-offs and landings are but a few meters  from the ground and there is no way that the pilots can control the aircraft to steer upward.

The long and short of it, he says further, is that the flight cancellations and delays were decided upon with nothing but the safety of the passengers as the paramount concern.

Event actions during such lightning alert level are as follows: aircraft ground servicing, towing of aircraft, cargo and luggage; removal of all ground service equipment from the aircraft; evacuation of all ramp personnel to a safe place and stop loading and unloading of passengers unless the plane is connected to the aerobridge.

If the plane is parked on a remote parking bay, one may seek cover inside the aircraft cabin until the alert is removed. The operation of ground power unit and airconditioning unit must continue to maintain temperature inside the cabin.

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Instead of blabbering away over flight cancellations and delays once you get affected,  it would be advisable to first know the details and the reason behind.

If the cause is an act of nature over which no human being -- no matter how high in government he is -- can exercise any control, try researching to first find out if the decision to suspend operations is justified or not. That way, you can come up with an informed action or comment.

Given today’s easy access to all kinds of information, no one needs or has to look stupid by insisting that he be able to leave as scheduled even if a red lightning alert had been hoisted -- unless that person is suicidal.

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Beauty tip -- Even water-resistant sunscreens can be rubbed away when toweling off after a swim, so be sure to reapply. (Source: Dr. Rosary May Canay-Diaz of Californian Bloom Aesthetic Institute and Medical Spa /4108424/4669596/09178038240/ 025053987)

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Jokjok (from Joselito Cantapay of Baguio City) -- Teacher: Pedro, why are you so late? My class is almost finished /PEDRO: Ma’m, kasi po nawalan ng P500 ‘yung lalake na nakasabay ko sa kalye/Teacher: Ohhh… okay…  so, bale tinulungan mo ‘yung lalake na hanapin ‘yung nawawala niyang pera?/PEDRO: Hindi po mam/TEACHER: Eh bakit ka nga late? Ano kinalaman nung ikinuwento mo?/PEDRO: Eh mam, tinapakan ko po kasi ‘yung P500 hanggang sa mapagod ‘yung lalake ng kahahanap at umalis…

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