WASHINGTON–Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan ordered today, effective immediately, rescission of the Public Notice regarding security conditions at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, Philippines (MNL) issued in December. The Notice was published on December 27, 2018, after multiple assessments of MNL identified a failure to adequately implement and maintain international security standards and recommended practices established by the International Civil Aviation Organization in Annex 17 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation of 1944.
After months of direct engagement with the United States, the Government of the Philippines has made significant improvements to the security operations of MNL. Both the Manila International Airport Authority and the Government of the Philippines civil aviation security authorities have demonstrated they are willing to work toward sustaining those improvements.
The Secretary of Homeland Security, through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), is required under 49 U.S.C. § 44907 to assess the effectiveness of security at all: (1) Foreign airports served by U.S. air carriers; (2) Foreign airports from which a foreign air carrier serves the United States; (3) Foreign airports that pose a high risk of introducing danger to international travel; and (4) Other airports deemed appropriate by the Secretary. If the Secretary of Homeland Security finds, based on TSA’s assessment that an airport has failed to implement effective security measures, the Secretary shall notify the foreign government authorities of that finding and recommend steps to achieve compliance. If an airport fails to remedy identified security deficiencies within 90 days of such notice, the Secretary shall publish a notice in the Federal Register that the airport is non-compliant, post the airport’s identity prominently at major U.S. airports, and notify the news media.
Several attacks targeting civil aviation over the past several years, along with ISIL’s and Al-Qaida’s repeated intentions and demonstrated capability clearly indicate the threat that terrorism poses to civil aviation. This is one reason why the United States actively supports the Philippine’s efforts to improve airport security. The U.S. State Department has provided $5 million to help fund airport security improvements at MNL to include training and technology. The TSA has also provided Aviation Security Advisors to the Philippine government to assist with development and implementation of corrective measures at MNL; analysis of security operations; and recommendations on technology use and maintenance; streamline screening operations; and modernizing MNL’s security infrastructure.
DHS and TSA remain committed to working with the Government of the Philippines to help ensure a strong security posture at MNL and enhance global aviation security.