Muntinlupa mayor questions revived shoes-off policy at airports | Inquirer News

Muntinlupa mayor questions revived shoes-off policy at airports

/ 05:10 AM July 17, 2023

Muntinlupa mayor questions revived shoes-off policy at airports

Passengers arrive at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in this photo taken in November 2022. (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — Muntinlupa City Mayor Ruffy Biazon on Sunday questioned the decision of the Office of Transportation Security (OTS) to revive the shoe removal policy for screening passengers, flight crews, and other airport users.

In a Twitter post, Biazon asked whether there was a study done and data provided on the risk of footwear in airport security following reports that the decades-old policy was reimposed in all airports nationwide.


“What’s the compelling reason? Is there data on footwear risk? Is there intel on threats?” Biazon said.


“Is there an order from Icao (International Civil Aviation Organization)? At a time when air travel is becoming tedious w/ immigration policy, overbooking, delayed & canceled flights, we impose this. Was there a time & motion study done?” he added.

‘Mandatory removal’

In an advisory on July 14, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) Area 8 announced that the OTS updated and revised the standard operating procedures for the screening of air travelers.

“Mandatory removal of footwear shall be implemented at the final security checkpoint in all airports nationwide effective immediately,” it said.

Caap Area 8 in Eastern Visayas cited the Standard Operating Procedure and Work Instruction dated July 9 approved by OTS Undersecretary Ma. O Aplasca.

In its advisory, Caap Area 6 in Western Visayas relayed the same announcement regarding the mandatory footwear removal policy.

The two-decades-old global policy on shoe inspection was imposed in the United States and other countries after the failed bombing of a plane bound for Miami in December 2021.


The suspected terrorist was discovered to have smuggled the bombs inside his shoes, which he tried to detonate during the flight.


Shoe inspection in airports has become an inconvenience in air travel since it caused long queues and prompted airline companies to require passengers to arrive hours before the scheduled departure.

In December 2022, the Manila International Airport Authority removed the initial security screening at the terminal entrances of Ninoy Aquino International Airport—a move supported by domestic airline Cebu Pacific.

The removal of X-ray machines was intended to eliminate queues outside the airport.

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Passengers were only required to go through a security check at the final inspection area after the immigration counters, where X-ray machines, body scanners, and metal detectors were placed for the screening of air travelers.


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TAGS: airport shoes-off policy, Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Office of Transportation Security, Ruffy Biazon

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