NAIA tightens screening of ‘powerless’ devices

MANILA, Philippines – If you're going on an international flight, be sure to charge the electronic devices you plan to bring as Philippine airport authorities have stepped up the screening procedure for gadgets carried by outbound passengers.

The Office for Transportation Security (OTS) has begun the inspection of electronic devices of passengers on outbound international flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to check if they are operational when switched on.

Gadgets that have no power or fail to work would be confiscated, and the owner questioned, said Nino Buhay, OTS shifts supervisor, who said he had received a verbal order by the home office to adopt the procedure immediately.

 “I received instructions from the home office to implement inspection of all electronic devices carried by carried by international passengers today regardless of destination,” Buhay said.

He added that prior to the receipt of the directive,  a member of the OTS had been inspecting all electronic devices coming into the NAIA by subjecting them to X-ray machines for scanning.

At the NAIA, Philippine Airlines (PAL) is the only carrier that has direct flights to Hawaii and mainland United States.

Delta Air, Cathay Pacific and China Airlines all fly to the US, but all have stop-overs in various destinations.

Delta makes a stop-over at Narita and Nagoya,  Cathay Pacific at Hong Kong, and China Airlines in Taipei before proceeding to various US cities.

Philippine authorities implemented the new measures a few days after the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced it was undertaking the procedure as an added precaution against a terror attack.

On Sunday, the said would require some overseas airports to conduct the additional inspections for passengers of all US-bound aircraft.

 The agency also said devices that fail to power up won't be allowed on planes and that their owners might have to undergo extra screening before boarding.

 “As the traveling public knows, all electronic devices are [already] screened by security officers,” TSA said in a statement.

 The TSA implemented the directive after some experts suggested that a new type of improvised explosive device (IED) could be planted in a laptop or other electronic devices. – Rappler.com