Bomb scare disrupts Bicol International Airport flights
MANILA, Philippines — A bomb scare on Monday disrupted flights and operations at the Bicol International Airport (BIA), according to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap).
“Caap reported an incident involving Cebu Pacific Airlines Flight 5J 326, scheduled to depart at 10:45 a.m. from BIA to Manila, which requested security assistance due to a bomb joke,” Caap said in its situational report.
The aircraft crew, Caap, said, reported that they found a note inside the lavatory with “bomb” written on it.
“As a precautionary measure, the runway at BIA has been temporarily closed. Passengers were safely deplaned and directed to proceed to the Arrival Area for security inspection,” Caap added.
Caap Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) personnel, along with Aviation Security Canine (K-9) Bomb Disposal units and PNP-AVSEU personnel, were deployed to conduct screening of passengers’ luggage and hand-carried items.
Caap said it is still investigating the incident and has yet to identify the culprit.
The aircraft was relocated to the Isolated Aircraft Parking Position (mid-runway, fronting the Terminal Building), where all checked-in baggage and hand-carried items underwent re-screening as part of enhanced security measures.
According to Bicol International Airport Manager Roland Bocito, a total of 10 Cebu Pacific flights were affected (5 arriving and 5 departing), while a Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight en route to BIA was diverted back to Manila under security protocols.
At 2:20 p.m., Caap said the BIA is already set to reopen its runway.
The involved Cebu Pacific aircraft, on the other hand, is back at Parking Bay No. 2 for processing of passengers for boarding.