DoTC: Davao airport’s fire-fighting capability at par with world standardsBy Paolo G. Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) has denied allegations about the sub-par fire-fighting capabilities at the Davao International Airport, in violation of global safety standards.
Earlier this week, Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño said the government had been putting thousands of lives at risk every day due to the lack of working fire engines at Davao that could respond to accidents.
Citing a 2010 report from the Civil Aviation Authority, Casiño accused the government of violating the policies and guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Under international rules, airports should have no less than three fire trucks capable of a foam discharge rate of 9,000 liters per minute that would go on top of chemical fire suppressants, Casiño said.
Casiño also said that the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) had been borrowing fire trucks from the Parañaque City government.
“The concern raised by Casiño that the Davao International Airport did not have any fire truck and adequate fire-fighting capability is untrue and mere hogwash based on old and outdated 2010 report,” Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas said.
Based on the 2012 data culled by Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), five fire trucks at the Davao International Airport are operational with a total capacity of 15,700 liters equivalent to Category 7, sufficient enough to quickly respond to an A320 aircraft emergency. Two others are undergoing repair or maintenance.
CAAP has allocated P544 million for the acquisition of 11 more fire trucks for deployment in various airports nationwide, including the Davao International Airport.
“As in similar acquisitions, we are carefully reviewing the specifications of each vehicle. We want to use the taxpayers’ money conscientiously by comparing the existing market price of each vehicle to the proposed CAAP cost,” Roxas said.
“(Davao airport personnel) have ample protected gears to respond for runway emergencies,” he said, adding that the CAAP’s 2012 budget has included P26.46 million for protective clothing for airport firefighters.
“Lastly, there is no truth to the claim that NAIA is borrowing fire trucks from the Parañaque government to respond to any emergency,” Roxas said.