MANILA, Sept 20 – A Saudi Arabian Airlines plane was temporarily isolated after landing at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Tuesday following a false hijack alarm, airline and airport officials said.
Passengers were taken off the aircraft and transported to the airport’s main terminal while Philippines security personnel carried out checks of the plane.
Earlier, the airport’s control tower received a warning that flight 872 from the Saudi city of Jeddah to Manila was “under threat”, apparently triggered by someone pressing an alarm button in the cockpit.
“We instructed (the) aircraft to proceed to (the) isolated area,” the airport’s general manager Edmund Monreal told reporters.
“It is fortunate that upon landing … the crew said they made a mistake. However, we can never play around with safety and security.”
“It (the button) was unintentionally pushed. But the problem is it was pushed twice.”
In a statement, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said it was investigating the incident.
“Appropriate penalties and sanctions will be imposed on the erring pilot if (the) result is indeed a human error,” CAAP said.
Saudi Airlines and Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation had no immediate comment on the Philippines’ statement.